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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

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, left, and Michal Szewczuk were members of British neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division which was exposed by the BBC

Two teenage neo-Nazis, who encouraged an attack on Prince Harry for marrying a woman of mixed race, have been jailed for terrorism offences.

Michal Szewczuk, 19, from Leeds, and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, from west London, were part of a group called the Sonnenkrieg Division.

An Old Bailey judge said their online propaganda was abhorrent and criminal.

Dunn-Koczorowski was given an 18-month detention and training order. Szewczuk was jailed for just over four years.

The defendants, who appeared by video link from HMP Belmarsh, in south-east London, did not react.

The court heard the teenagers used pseudonyms to run personal accounts on the Gab social media site, as well as sharing control of the Sonnenkrieg Division’s own page, on which they posted self-designed propaganda that encouraged terrorist attacks.

Among other things, the imagery suggested the Duke of Sussex was a “race traitor” who should be shot, glorified the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, and said white women who date non-white men should be hung.

The material was “uniformly violent and threatening” and “the nature of the violence includes rape and execution”, judge Rebecca Poulet said.

Suggested targets included non-white and Jewish people, and the effect was to overtly encourage lone acts of violence against members of the public, the judge added.

She said the men had promoted both Sonnenkrieg and the American Atomwaffen Division, which were extreme right-wing groups inspired by a book called Siege written by the veteran American neo-Nazi James Mason in the 1980s.


‘Intent on action’

Their ideology is violently racist and anti-Semitic neo-Nazism and its tactics involve political violence through acting alone or small-cell terrorism, she added.

She condemned an “additional feature” of the ideology by referencing a blog run by Szewczuk that encouraged the rape of female adults and babies.

Sonnenkrieg’s activities were exposed last year by a BBC investigation.

Prosecutor Naomi Parsons, opening the case earlier in the hearing, told the court: “This isn’t a keyboard organisation. It is intent on action.”

She read from the group’s mission statement, which declared: “Will you rise up and take the chance or will you sit back and do nothing… Hail victory, and Heil Hitler!”

In April, Szewczuk admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism and five of possessing documents useful to a terrorist.

Dunn-Koczorowski pleaded guilty while still a youth in December to two counts of encouraging terrorism.

The court heard Sonnenkrieg was influenced by the US-based group Atomwaffen Division, which is linked to five murders, and Mason, whose writings “may well represent the most violent, revolutionary and potentially terroristic expression of right-wing extremism current today”.

Sonnenkrieg promoted the idea that people should completely “drop out” of society and engage in a “total attack” on the system, Ms Parsons told the court.

She said Szewczuk also maintained an “extremely violent and aggressively misogynistic” blog that encouraged the rape, torture and murder of women and babies.

“You must become a machine of terror,” Szewczuk had advised his readers.

In online comments, Dunn-Koczorowski suggested that decapitating babies would be acceptable to stop them becoming “leftist politicians” and proclaimed “terror is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.

The pair were arrested the morning after the BBC investigation was broadcast in December.

Detectives found Szewczuk – then a computer science student at the University of Portsmouth – in possession of bomb-making instructions, documents describing how to conduct Islamist terror attacks and a “white resistance” manual.

Hitler imagined as avatar of a god

By Daniel De Simone, BBC home affairs producer

Sonnenkrieg Division, which police say has the most radical ideology on the UK extreme right, is the latest neo-Nazi group to emerge following the proscription of National Action under anti-terror laws three years ago.

Created by a small number of people, Sonnenkrieg used the internet to exaggerate its size and capabilities, with members seeking direct action from those accessing its propaganda.

Terrorism and criminality were encouraged, as was the transgression of what it caricatured as slavish morality, with sexual violence and paedophilia both advocated.

Their bizarre supernatural belief system imagined Hitler to be an avatar of a god, lionised the Moors Murderer Ian Brady and cult leader Charles Manson, and blended violent Satanism, a berserk misogyny, and admiration for radical Islamism.

The aim? To undermine and collapse civilization, which the group deemed a necessary forerunner to the creation of a Nazi warrior society.

BBC News

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, left, and Michal Szewczuk were members of British neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division which was exposed by the BBC

Two teenage neo-Nazis, who encouraged an attack on Prince Harry for marrying a woman of mixed race, have been jailed for terrorism offences.

Michal Szewczuk, 19, from Leeds, and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, from west London, were part of a group called the Sonnenkrieg Division.

An Old Bailey judge said their online propaganda was abhorrent and criminal.

Dunn-Koczorowski was given an 18-month Detention and Training Order. Szewczuk was jailed for just over four years.

The defendants, who appeared by video link from HMP Belmarsh, in south-east London, did not react.

The court heard the teenagers used pseudonyms to run personal accounts on the Gab social media site, as well as sharing control of the Sonnenkrieg Division’s own page, on which they posted self-designed propaganda that encouraged terrorist attacks.

Among other things, the imagery suggested the Duke of Sussex was a “race traitor” who should be shot, glorified the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik, and said white women who date non-white men should be hung.

The material was “uniformly violent and threatening” and “the nature of the violence includes rape and execution”, judge Rebecca Poulet said.

Hitler imagined as avatar of a god

By Daniel De Simone, BBC home affairs producer

Sonnenkrieg Division, which police say has the most radical ideology on the UK extreme right, is the latest neo-Nazi group to emerge following the proscription of National Action under anti-terror laws three years ago.

Created by a small number of people, Sonnenkrieg used the internet to exaggerate its size and capabilities, with members seeking direct action from those accessing its propaganda.

Terrorism and criminality were encouraged, as was the transgression of what it caricatured as slavish morality, with sexual violence and paedophilia both advocated.

Their bizarre supernatural belief system imagined Hitler to be an avatar of a god, lionised the Moors Murderer Ian Brady and cult leader Charles Manson, and blended violent Satanism, a berserk misogyny, and admiration for radical Islamism.

The aim? To undermine and collapse civilization, which the group deemed a necessary forerunner to the creation of a Nazi warrior society.

The pair sentenced on Tuesday will have time to reflect whether this was all really such a good idea.

BBC News

Michal Szewczuk produced propaganda for a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division


A teenage neo-Nazi who suggested Prince Harry should be shot for marrying a woman of mixed race has pleaded guilty to terror offences at the Old Bailey.

Michal Szewczuk, 19, of Leeds, admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism and five of possessing documents useful to a terrorist.

The charges relate to a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division.

Co-defendant Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, from west London, pleaded guilty in December to encouraging terrorism.

Both of them were granted conditional bail and are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 17 June.

The pair produced Sonnenkrieg propaganda that, among other things, said Prince Harry was a “race traitor” who should be shot, and lionised the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

They publicised the propaganda on the social media site Gab, including on a page for the Sonnenkrieg group itself.

Szewczuk, hiding behind a pseudonym, also used a separate account to posts links to self-authored diatribes that called for the “systematic slaughtering” of women and the rape of babies.

Detectives found Szewczuk in possession of bomb-making instructions, documents describing how to conduct Islamist terror attacks and a “white resistance” manual.

The Sonnenkrieg group, which was exposed last year by a BBC investigation, was created as a British version of the American neo-Nazi organisation Atomwaffen Division, which has been linked to five murders.

Oskar Dunn-Koczorowki admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism in December

Szewczuk and Dunn-Koczorowski were arrested the morning after a BBC investigation exposed the group’s activities.

Another man was also arrested and has since been released under investigation.

The group’s ideology, which is influenced by figures such as the murderous cult leader Charles Manson, is a strain of neo-Nazism that openly encourages criminality and acts of terrorism.

Online propaganda and private chat logs show members engaging in extreme misogyny, as well as exalting Jihadist terrorism and a violent strand of Satanism.

Some private messages seen by the BBC suggest Sonnenkrieg members encouraged young women to engage in acts of self-harm.

The Sonnenkrieg Division grew out of a split in the now largely defunct System Resistance Network, which was created after the neo-Nazi group National Action was banned under anti-terror laws in 2016.

Sonnenkrieg and System Resistance Network both contained one-time members of National Action, including Dunn-Koczorowski.

BBC News