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Ian Forman of Birkenhead sentenced to 10 years in prison after making homemade bomb and drawing up list of targets

Nazi sympathiser Ian Forman, who has been jailed for 10 years for preparing for acts of terrorism. Photograph: Greater Manchester Police/PA

Nazi sympathiser Ian Forman, who has been jailed for 10 years for preparing for acts of terrorism. Photograph: Greater Manchester Police/PA

A Nazi sympathiser who planned to blow up mosques in Merseyside has been jailed for 10 years.

Ian Forman, 42, from Birkenhead, was convicted of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts following an 11-day trial in March.

Forman, who had a “deep hatred” of Muslims, made a list of mosques near his home, which he referred to as his “dreck ziel” – a German phrase literally meaning “filth target”.

He researched how to make bombs online and tested explosives at his home before police discovered chemicals and a homemade explosive device in his bedroom in June last year, Kingston crown court heard.

Forman, who expressed rightwing views on social media and spoke of his admiration of Adolf Hitler and the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, owned part of an SS officer’s uniform which he planned to display on a mannequin, the court heard.

Police found a film he had made of himself wearing an SS officer’s hat while playing video games.

Sentencing Forman to 10 years, the judge, Paul Dodgson, said the would-be terrorist had acted in a “racist, abusive and extremely offensive manner”.

He added: “You in your perverted way believed that your activities were a continuation of Nazi warfare.”

David Mason QC, in mitigation, said Forman was “not your average terrorist” and had struggled in Belmarsh prison alongside a large number of inmates from ethnic minorities.

“Everything this man did was geared towards his hate towards the ethnic community,” he said.

“It is consistent with someone who thought about it for a very long time but actually never stepped out of his front door to do it. He perhaps came across as someone rather pathetic, very bright, holding appalling views but not your average terrorist.”

Forman came to the attention of police in April 2013 while he worked as a receptionist at a glass recycling firm in Ellesmere Port.

Colleagues found that he had been researching chemicals and explosive substances on the internet during work hours – a breach of company policy.

He was called in for internal disciplinary meetings, during which he claimed his research was for his hobby of making fireworks.

Unconvinced, the company called Merseyside police, prompting his arrest.

After the sentencing on Thursday, DS Matt Findell of the north-west counter-terrorism unit said: “Thankfully, we will never know how far Forman was prepared to go in acting out his racist fantasies.

“However, we do know that Forman had carefully selected a number of targets to meet his own means. Had he carried them out, his attacks could have caused considerable damage to both property and people at several mosques.

“The north-west counter-terrorism unit has extensive experience of investigating individuals and groups who hope to threaten, intimidate and attack people for their own twisted political ends.

“We have demonstrated once again with today’s result that we will use every means at our disposal to protect our communities.”
The Guardian

From 2014

Cpl Mikko Vehvilainen found not guilty over Breivik manifesto after admitting having CS gas

A serving British soldier who kept a photo of himself giving a Nazi-style salute has been cleared of a terrorism offence.

Cpl Mikko Vehvilainen, a white supremacist who collected a host of legally held weaponry, pleaded guilty to a separate charge of having a banned canister of CS gas, which he kept in a drawer at a property he was renovating in Llansilin, Powys.

A jury at Birmingham crown court cleared him of possession of a terrorism document – a charge that related to a manifesto by the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik – and two counts of stirring up racial hatred, relating to forum posts on a white nationalist website.

Vehvilainen, of the Royal Anglian Regiment, kept a homemade target dummy in the garage of his barracks home at Sennybridge Camp, Brecon, and had a container filled with 11 knives, knuckle-dusters, a face mask and a box of Nazi flags, all legally held.

He kept a licensed shotgun, a crossbow and bow and homemade arrows, he had wiring and electrical parts capable of being made into a crude electro-magnetic pulse device, and he customised army-issue body armour, spray-painting it black. He also had a Hitler Youth knife and an SS ceremonial dagger.

Vehvilainen wrote to two men jailed for race crimes, including a man convicted of making antisemitic remarks to the Labour MP Luciana Berger, telling them “there is still hope”. He wrote a draft of an extreme rightwing magazine he entitled Extinction, in which he railed against mixed-race relationships, “unnatural” homosexuality and “non-whites”.

Vehvilainen’s phone showed 900 visits to a white nationalist website, Cristogenea.org.

Vehvilainen’s barrister, Pavlos Panayi QC, told jurors at the start of the trial that it was “not in dispute that he [Vehvilainen] is a racist”, but he said it was not a crime simply to hold such views.

The prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said that in collecting weapons Vehvilainen was “putting into effect his repeated call, quite literally, to arms on the part of those who, like him, wanted to create a white-only society”.

An entry in a notebook found at Vehvilainen’s address, read: “Be prepared to fight and die for your race in a possible last stand for our survival.”

Atkinson said: “The lists [of weapons], and indeed the substantial quantity of weaponry recovered from his address, reveal and speak to his intention to stockpile weapons and other equipment in preparation for the ‘race war’ that he spoke of.”

In Vehvilainen’s wardrobe, where he kept his uniform, police found a Nazi flag pinned to the inside of the door. When he opened the door for officers, he turned to them and said: “That’s what this is about, isn’t it?”

On his arrest on 5 September last year, Vehvilainen told his wife: “I’m being arrested for being a patriot.”

He was on trial alongside Pte Mark Barrett, 25, also of the Royal Anglians, and formerly of Kendrew barracks, Cottesmore, Rutland. Barrett was acquitted of a charge of membership of the proscribed far-right organisation National Action.

A 23-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of having Breivik’s manifesto but convicted of three other terrorism offences.

Vehvilainen and the 23-year-old will be sentenced on Friday.

The Guardian