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A man has been jailed for having explosives, weapons and ammunition following a joint investigation by police in Hertfordshire and Counter Terrorism officers from the Met and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

Warren Snedden, 45 (05.05.73) of Longcroft Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday, 15 June to a total of 10 years’ imprisonment and to serve an additional five years’ on extended licence.

Snedden was previously found guilty on Tuesday, 27 March of having an explosive substance. He also previously pleaded guilty to a number of other offences including: possession of documents containing information likely to be useful for terrorist purposes; possession of firearms and ammunition; and, production of cannabis.

Police were alerted to a suspicious transaction on an online auction site in July 2017, where a number of chemicals associated with the production of the explosive TATP were purchased. Further enquiries linked the purchases to Snedden.

A search warrant was carried out on 29 September 2017 by Hertfordshire Constabulary at his address in Welwyn Garden City, where officers found the chemicals in Snedden’s bedroom, along with a number of tilt switches that are often used in the production of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Police also found component parts of a firearm, an air rifle and over 200 rounds of ammunition – all items Snedden was specifically prohibited from possessing, having previously been convicted of an armed robbery offence in 2001. A small number of cannabis plants were also found growing in his garden.

Snedden’s digital devices were seized and later examined. Detectives found copies of terrorist-related manuals and documents detailing how to make and create home-made ammunition, weapons and explosives.

Snedden was charged and remanded in custody; he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 2 October 2017, and his case was subsequently referred on to Woolwich Crown Court for trial.

Commander Clarke Jarrett, Head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Snedden never gave a full explanation as to what he was planning to do with the array of chemicals, weaponry and ammunition he had stockpiled. What is clear is that what he was doing was putting both himself, his neighbours and the public in great danger.

“This was a joint investigation between the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command and colleagues from Hertfordshire Constabulary, as well officers from ERSOU’s counter terrorism policing unit. The excellent work across all three has led to a number of dangerous components and weapons being taken out of circulation.

“The case is also a further reminder of the need to be ever-vigilant and I would urge anyone who sees any suspicious activity or behaviour to ACT and report it to police.”

Any suspicious behaviour or activity can be reported via this online tool or by calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Detective Superintendent Rob Bartlett, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing for ERSOU, said: “Although we may never understand why Snedden stockpiled these items and was viewing such material, there is no doubt that he posed a very real threat to society.

“This case was a great example of agencies working together in order to prevent someone from causing harm, and removing dangerous weapons and chemicals from circulation.

“The Action Counters Terrorism campaign urges people to be vigilant to suspicious activity such as the ordering of illegal firearms or the gathering of chemical materials so this is a timely reminder for people to be alert and report anything they find concerning.”

Snedden was convicted of the following offences:

Two counts of having an explosive substance; two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon; two counts of possession of a firearm without a certificate; possession of ammunition without a certificate; possession of ammunition when prohibited; possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of crime; three counts of possession of a document containing information useful for terrorist purposes; production of cannabis.

Met Police

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

TWO teenage boys have been convicted of conspiracy to murder at Leeds Crown Court after plotting a Columbine-inspired shooting at their school.

The teenagers, both 15, sat motionless alongside their tearful mothers as the verdicts were read to them on Thursday.

The older boy, wearing a shirt, was also convicted of unlawful wounding, but cleared of a count of aggravated burglary.

A balaclava belonging to one of the boys Picture: North East Counter Terrorism Unit

A balaclava belonging to one of the boys Picture: North East Counter Terrorism Unit

During the three-week trial, prosecutors claimed that the pair “hero-worshipped” Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the teenagers responsible for murdering 13 people at Columbine High School, Colorado, in 1999.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, told the pair they will be sentenced at a later date when she has considered reports about them both.

She told the jury: “Nobody will be in any doubt as to the gravity of their conduct and the plans they have made.”

The chilling diary entry by the older teenager

The chilling diary entry by the older teenager

She said it was an “unusual case” but told the jury the “welfare of young people” was the primary concern of the sentencing system.

During the three-week trial, jurors heard how the boys had prepared a “hit list” of people they wanted to kill, including fellow students and teachers who had supposedly bullied or wronged them.

Analysis of their devices showed that they had researched weapons online and had both downloaded a bomb-making manual.

The older defendant, described as the “leader” of the pair, had supposedly “idolised” Eric Harris, who took up arms with fellow teenager Dylan Klebold and carried out a massacre at Columbine High School, Colorado, killing themselves and 13 others.

The same boy was later found to have kept a diary in which he espoused what prosecutors described as a “far-right wing ideology” and discussed his motivations for wanting to carry out an attack.

The pair were questioned by police officers when, in September 2017, the younger boy told a schoolgirl via Snapchat that they were planning to carry out a shooting.

When she asked if he was joking, he responded: “No. No one innocent will die. We promise.”

The next day, he made what the prosecution described as “clear and unvarnished” confessions, firstly to a teacher, and then to police officers.

During his evidence, the teacher told the court that the boy had said that his targets were “infecting the gene pool” and that he and his friend were performing a “service to society”.

The older boy’s girlfriend claimed that, shortly after that incident, he spoke of a plan to murder her parents and run away together, so that he could become a “natural born killer”.

The schoolgirl, who started dating the boy in June 2017, claimed he described her as “his Dylan Klebold” and encouraged her to give him access to her father’s shotguns.

A chat between the teenagers in which they discuss plans to 'shoot up the school'

A chat between the teenagers in which they discuss plans to ‘shoot up the school’

The teenager, described as “devious” and “primitive” by the girl’s mother, was cleared of one count of aggravated burglary.

He was convicted of unlawful wounding, after carving his name into his then-girlfriend’s lower back.

Officers searched the boy’s “hideout”, where they discovered a rucksack filled with screws, boards, and a flammable liquid which, prosecutors suggested were instruments with which to build an explosive device.

The pair will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court at a later date.

Counter Terrorism Policing North East (North East CTU) claimed that both the boys had a “very real interest in violence”.

In a statement, Detective Superintendent Martin Snowden, the head of the North East CTU, said they were “very grateful” to North Yorkshire Police for their assistance during the investigation.

“There is no understating the severity of these offences and the potential implications had their plans not come to the attention of the authorities,” Mr Snowden said.

He added: “These boys demonstrated a very real interest in violence and had both expressed a desire to act out their fascinations.

“Disturbingly, they had gone beyond the fantasy and had begun to take very real steps towards making it a reality.”

Superintendent Allan Harder, head of safeguarding at North Yorkshire Police, said: “We want to reassure the school community and the wider public that the health and well-being of young people and their families will remain at the top of our agenda.”

Northern Echo

Steven Bracher had three viable pipe bombs and was working on a total of 17 improvised devices in Bishops Tawton.

A man with extreme homophobic and racist views has admitted making a nine kilogram fertiliser bomb at his home in a Devon village.

Steven Bracher had three viable pipe bombs and was working on a total of 17 improvised devices when he was arrested for having a knife in the street in Barnstaple.

Royal Navy explosives experts spent several hours making safe and removing a large quantity of different chemicals at the historic Almshouses in Bishops Tawton, near Barnstaple.

Police also found jottings which indicated extreme views of members of society including black people and gay people, some of which talked about killing people.

The largest bomb was a nine kilogram device made from ammonium sulphate and diesel oil which was found under 55-year-old Bracher’s bed.

It was blown up by the Plymouth-based Navy experts and the resulting explosion was filmed as evidence of the power of the bomb. It left a large hole in the ground.

Scientists at a Government laboratory are still studying all the chemicals which were seized to try to find out whether Bracher was trying to make more devices.

He is an amphetamine addict who was also trying to make his own supply in an operation similar to the one in the American crime series Breaking Bad.

Bracher, of the Law Memorial Houses in Bishops Tawton, admitted three counts of having explosive substances, one of possessing a lock knife in Barnstaple High Street, and one of possessing amphetamines.

He appeared by video link at Exeter Crown Court from Long Lartin prison and was remanded in custody. Judge David Evans ordered psychiatric and probation reports and adjourned the case until June 8.

Mr David Sapiecha, prosecuting, said the explosives were found after Bracher was arrested on Wednesday January 24 this year.

He said:”He was in possession of 17 improvised explosive devices. Three were what are commonly termed pipe bombs with explosives in metal tubes.

“In addition there was an ammonia sulphate fertiliser bomb weighing nine kilograms. Video footage is available of it being exploded under controlled conditions which show the size of the blast and the hole it made.

“The nine kilogram bomb was under his bed. There are aspects of the case that we do not link directly, but he had particular views which appear to be of concern.

“The property was full of weaponry including machetes, knives and things like that. There were jottings which show fairly nasty views with regard to sections of society.

“Drugs were being used. He told police he was addicted to amphetamines and had attempted to make amphetamine or met-amphetamine, although the experts say he was not up to it.

“When he was booked into custody he said he had undiagnosed depression. He had an interest in explosives and one aspect which will need to be looked at is what may have happened if he had a bad day as a result of depression and drugs.

“It could have turned quite nasty. We do not say there is any link to terrorism.”

Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said Bracher has no psychiatric history and there is another side to his character. He said there was no indication he had any intention to harm anyone or to damage property.

The judge said:”He is expressing views in the jottings which are troubling and at the same location there are explosive substances and weaponry. The jottings include expressions of an intention to kill people.

“We have someone who may be labouring under some sort of mental health problem who is addicted to a drug which may have unpredictable side effects and who was expressing these intentions and desires. metaphorically, it is an explosive mixture.”

Devon Live

A serving soldier from Manchester charged with a terror offence has admitted making a nail bomb.

Ryan McGee, 19, was serving with the 5th Battalion The Rifles when he was detained in December at an Army base in Germany after the discovery of a suspicious device at a Salford house.

He also admitted a separate charge at the Old Bailey of possessing a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook on bombs

McGee, of Mellor Street, Eccles, was bailed ahead of sentencing in November.

The Anarchist Cookbook includes instructions for the manufacture of explosives as well as for home-manufacturing of drugs.

McGee admitted possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terror and making explosives contrary to the Explosives Substance Act by making an Improvised Explosive Device.\

BBC News

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