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‘I am moments away from constructing bombs and weapons, how exciting,’ boy wrote in diary

A teenage neo-Nazi who planned terror attacks on synagogues and other targets in Durham has been jailed.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison after writing a manifesto aiming to inspire other terrorists.

He detailed plans to firebomb synagogues and other buildings as part of what he believed was an upcoming “race war”.

Before being arrested, he wrote that his upcoming 12 weeks of study leave would be “showtime”.

“I think I am moments away from constructing bombs and weapons, how exciting,” a diary entry added.

The boy was convicted of six terror offences, including preparing acts of terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications and possessing material for terrorist purposes.

When he was arrested in March, police found a piece of paper in his pocket containing a message on code that said: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it … good hunting Friday.”

During his arrest, the boy was carrying a second piece of paper containing a drawing of a fellow school pupil being beheaded.

Prosecutors said he had called for the student’s death, and had described how he wanted to violently attack a second pupil – who he thought was gay – as “judgement exacted on the lowest of the low, as deserved”.

Michelle Nelson QC told Manchester Crown Court: “Assaults upon fellow students, who had no place in the new world order, was in line with that; it was something he saw as part of generating race war and chaos.”

After reading Norway shooter Anders Breivik’s manifesto, which called for lone wolf terror attacks to fight the “genocide” of white people, the teenager started drafting his own.

The document was entitled: “Storm 88: A manual for practical sensible guerrilla warfare against the kike [offensive term for Jewish] system in Durham city area, sieg hiel.”

It listed proposed attack targets in Durham, including schools, public transport and council buildings.

Manifestos have also been written by far-right terrorists who carried out attacks including Halle, El Paso and Christchurch.

Writing on the Fascist Forge forum, the teenager claimed a race war was “inevitable”, and called himself an “accelerationist”.

Prosecutors said they had not identified a “particular act or acts” of terrorism that the boy was going to commit, but that he had been preparing for some kind of atrocity since October 2017.

He denied all offences, claiming he had adopted the terrorist persona for “shock value” and did not want to carry out attacks, but was convicted unanimously of all charges in November.

The teenager wrote that an extremist contact had warned him of an imminent police raid a month before his arrest, prompting him to start deleting files from his devices.

At his first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last April, prosecutor Kristel Pous said: “Between February 10 to 14, he was tipped off by the Fascist Forge network that the police raid was imminent, and he proceeded to delete all his files.”

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said she was “very concerned” and asked police to investigate the claim.

A spokeswoman for Counter Terrorism Policing North East said no further evidence was found, adding: “Although there is evidence he did delete a number of files around 14 February, there’s no actual evidence to support the fact he was tipped off or implicating a third party. All the files deleted at that time were recovered.”

The teenager demonstrated a fascination with mass killers including Breivik, the Oklahoma bomber, Columbine shooters and Unabomber.

The court heard that the boy had been an “adherent of a right-wing ideology” since the age of 13, and that his views became more extreme as he immersed himself in fascist websites and forums.

By 2017, he was describing himself as a neo-Nazi and operated a since-deleted Twitter account.

His racist and homophobic tweets drew the attention of police but when he was interviewed in September that year, he claimed they were posted “for a laugh”.

The boy claimed he was not an extremist, but started another Twitter account and continued communicating with contacts, while accessing a “large quantity of extreme right-wing literature”.

The court heard he had steeped himself in antisemitic conspiracy theories and ranted about Jewish school governors, MPs and the press.

In August 2018, he described himself as a “radical national socialist” and follower of Adolf Hitler, saying he had read Mein Kampf and had a photo of the Nazi leader on his phone.

Prosecutors said the boy obtained and shared terror manuals on making explosives and firearms on the Ironmarch and Fascist Forge online forums, but also drew on jihadi propaganda.

He had searched for Isis execution videos and used al-Qaeda literature, and a jihadi guide on making deadly poisons, including ricin.

By November 2018, he had progressed to extreme occult neo-Nazism, which has gained traction in branches of the UK’s banned National Action terrorist group, and voiced support for satanism.

The teenager declared his support for the “siege” ideology, which was started by an American neo-Nazi and advocates the use of terror attacks to trigger a race war and chaos.

“Democracy is very much a dead system; political violence therefore, can only help us,” he wrote. “The white race is being silently genocided, the west is dying.”

Counterterror police have named right-wing extremism as the fastest-growing terror threat to the UK, although Islamists still make up the largest proportion of investigations.

The largest group of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme are individuals with a “mixed, unstable or unclear ideology”, including obsessions with violence and massacres.

Of the 24 terror plots foiled by security services since March 2017, 16 were Islamist and eight were far right.

The Independent

The youngest person to be convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK identified potential targets in his hometown, began drafting a “guerrilla warfare” manual and tried to obtain a chemical used in terrorist bombings. But the case also focused on the radicalisation process itself, hearing the 16-year-old’s preparations for an attack involved a deliberate effort to dehumanise himself and become like the “living dead”.

The teenager chronicled his regression in a journal, writing “at one point or another I can look back and see if I was any different.” Aged 14, he noted: “I wasn’t always a fascist, my red pilling process was slower than most”, adding that less than two years earlier he advocated “punk rock ideals and Marxism”.

The trial heard much about his ideology – an amalgam of neo-Nazism, Satanism and misanthropy, allied to the belief that a collapse of civilisation should be “accelerated” through acts of violence and criminality.

He was first interviewed by police in autumn 2017, when his school reported a Twitter account he used to express support for the outlawed British neo-Nazi group National Action and posed for a photo with ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson.

The boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, promised to close the profile and he spent time with the government de-radicalisation scheme, Prevent. But rather than moderating his behaviour, he set out to immerse himself in extreme right-wing literature and online networks.

“A fascist has an obligation to absorb a lot of words,” he recorded.

His immersion came at a time of exceptional depravity. National Action had been banned in 2016, but had generated several small British spin-offs, some of which sought to imitate the militant American group, Atomwaffen Division.

The origins of this network were in an online neo-Nazi forum, but by the time it closed in 2017 fascists from around the world were already migrating to new platforms. These digital spaces promote an increasingly berserk world view that proclaims hatred of all, worships a pantheon of “saints” comprising various terrorists and murderers, and demands a commitment to the destruction of society through so-called “accelerationism”.

Online channels can gain thousands of followers, all using a shared vocabulary and set of references, although there are disputes over people’s ideological commitment or supernatural beliefs, in which Adolf Hitler is often regarded as a divinity.

Central influences include the American neo-Nazi James Mason, who has been convicted of indecent images offences involving a child, and individuals associated with the occult organisation Order of Nine Angles – described by the prosecution as the “most prominent and recognisable link between Satanism and the extreme right”.

The result is a culture in which deviancy and criminality are encouraged – sexual violence and paedophilia are constant themes – with anything justified as long as it is thought to destabilise society and defy what is characterised as slavish morality.

The Durham teenager absorbed these ideas, reading any recommended books and discussing them in his journal, gradually following the logic of his ideology towards a planned attack. In October 2018, he wrote that earlier phases of his political activities, such as debating with others, had “accomplished nothing” and merely got him into trouble at school.

“And now here I am an accelerationist,” he added.

The boy actively sought to alter himself in line with the texts he read and included the instruction “shed empathy” on a list of things to do. He adopted an online pseudonym, speaking constantly with other neo-Nazis, telling a forum that his Satanic belief system involved programming oneself to lose any feelings of guilt – becoming the living dead in the process.

“I believe there is primal enjoyment to be had in sadism,” he wrote in his journal, stating: “How wonderful it is to be an amoral individual”.

He set his sights on his hometown of Durham, searching for synagogues and compiling a list of local places “worth attacking”. He collected explosives manuals and also tried to secure a dangerous chemical from a fellow extremist in the United States.

When the boy was arrested outside his home in March, detectives found a coded note in his pocket, saying: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it. Most were caught because they got sloppy.”

At trial, the boy denied being a neo-Nazi, saying his writings were an extremist “alter ego” generated by feelings of social isolation and created in order to shock others and find a sense of belonging online. He told jurors his political beliefs were “centre right” and that he had a poster on his bedroom wall signed by Nigel Farage.

Prosecutors said the boy was lying to the jury about the fake “persona” and that his actions were not confined to diaries or the internet. They originally alleged that he sexually touched a child as part of his preparations for an attack, saying it was a deliberate “desensitisation technique”, although claims about his sexual conduct were ruled inadmissible during pre-trial hearings and will now be heard in a youth court.

Teenagers Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski and Michal Szewczuk pleaded guilty to terror offences

According to police, eight terrorist plots inspired by right-wing ideologies have been stopped since March 2017. They say there is a “spectrum” of such ideologies that have the potential to generate violence, with the variant adopted by the Durham defendant regarded as perhaps the most extreme of all.

He is now the fourth teenager to be convicted of terrorism offences in the UK over the past year, in which the same set of influences – accelerationism and Satanism – have been central.

One of the many troubling aspects of this case is that a child traversed the full spectrum of right-wing extremism before he had even left school.

BBC News

Three men have been sentenced after starting a brawl in a branch of Tesco’s.

Connor McIntosh, 21, Daniel Gray, 25, and Lee Forster, 25, were all charged with affray after an altercation with two employees at Tesco’s on Newcastle Road in Sunderland.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the three men had been shopping at the supermarket on October 25 last year with McIntosh being asked to leave the store after being aggressive towards staff and causing trouble.

CCTV footage showed the men leaving the store and heading into the car park.

Mr Alec Burns prosecuting said that McIntosh – who has previous convictions for battery and criminal damage – then approached two employees of Tesco’s who were on their break and became aggressive towards them.

He threatened to slash them and continued to point and wave his arms around aggressively.

The CCTV footage shows McIntosh edging closer to one of the men before a fight breaks out.

Mcintosh is then seen throwing punches before Gray and Forster join in.

Mr Burns said: “Thankfully there were no lasting injuries and everyone got into Murray’s car and fled.

“The car was driven dangerously and was pursued by police before crashing into a school fence.”

McIntosh, of Barwick Street, Durham and Gray, of Northlands, Durham made no reply when interviewed by police and Forster, of Station View, Chester-Le-Street said he had joined in on the fight to protect his friends.

All three pleaded guilty to affray at a previous hearing.

The court heard that five months later on March 6 this year, Gray was intoxicated outside the Bridge Pub in Chester-Le-Street while still on bail for the affray.

Mr Burns said: “He was drinking a bottle of cider and was clearly drunk when an altercation between his brother began.

“The two began fighting in the street and at some point Gray pulled out an unloaded BB gun.

“His brother knew it was an imitation firearm but the defendant began pointing the gun at passing traffic.”

Concerned members of the public phoned the police and Gray was arrested.

He was initially compliant but once in the police car started telling the arresting officers that he would kill them and that they had “entered a very dark world” and threatened to “blow their heads off.”

Anthony Davis, defending Gray said that he bought the gun for £35 and was initially going to be used for shooting birds in the woods.

He said that he also accepts that the members of the public would have been very concerned seeing the weapon.

Gray pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm at a previous hearing and was sentenced to 22 months in prison for both offences.

McIntosh, who was said to have given up taking drugs and was in employment was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months as well as being ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work.

Lee Forster, who was said to have the better record of the men was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months as well as supervision for 12 months and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

Sunderland Echo

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