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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

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

An alleged member of the banned neo-Nazi group National Action has admitted to plotting to kill a British MP and making threats to kill a police officer.

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a Gladius machete to kill the West Lancashire Labour MP Rosie Cooper last summer.

On the opening day of his trial at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism and making threats to kill a police officer, DC Victoria Henderson.

The judge, Mr Justice Robert Jay, directed the jury to deliver a formal guilty verdict on the two charges. Renshaw also faces a third charge of membership of the banned far right group, which he denies.

He is on trial alongside Christopher Lythgoe, 32, from Warrington, who is charged with encouraging Renshaw to murder Cooper on behalf of National Action, believing the act would be committed. He denies the charges.

Four other men – Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Merseyside; Matthew Hankinson, 24, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside; Andrew Clark, 33, and Michael Trubini, 35, both of Warrington – are also charged with membership of National Action. They deny the charge.

The court heard that Renshaw had bought the machete to kill Cooper between 5 June and 3 July last year. He made threats while in a pub in Warrington on 1 July last year, it was alleged.

Duncan Atkinson, prosecuting, told the court that National Action had engaged since 2013 in a campaign of “virulently racist, antisemitic and homophobic propaganda through which it sought to stir up a violent ‘race war’ against ethnic minorities and others it perceived as ‘race traitors’.”

He said the group “actively sought to recruit and radicalise young people through the violent imagery and hate-filled language of its social media messages, its provocative street demonstrations and intimidation of local communities”.

It was such activities, culminating it its support of the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016, that led to its proscription by the home secretary in December 2016.

The court heard how a significant amount of evidence came from a former member of National Action called Robbie Mullen. Mullen, the prosecution said, told how the group, under the leadership of Lythgoe, continued to function post-proscription, with the primary desire to start a race war and to free “white Britain”.

Other sources of evidence included material found at the defendants’ addresses and on their electronic devices, including communications with each other. All of the defendants are alleged to be part of the north-west area groups, which met at a pub in Warrington called the Friar Penketh.

The prosecution said Renshaw planned to engage in politically motivated murder, and sought the approval of the organisation and hoped to advance its cause through this killing. His motivation was also personal, the court heard.

Renshaw was arrested on 11 January 2017 on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred. He was interviewed by an officer called DC Victoria Henderson and a male police officer, before being released pending further investigation.

On Renshaw’s arrest, a phone was recovered and analysed, revealing what police considered to be evidence of child sex offences (grooming), the court heard. Renshaw was again arrested and interviewed in respect of those allegations on 19 May 2017, again by a team including Henderson.

On 1 July 2017, the prosecution said there was a meeting at the Friar Penketh pub attended by most of the defendants. Mullen was also there.

At this meeting, Renshaw told the group he was planning to kill his local member of parliament, Cooper. “She was of the same party, Labour, as Jo Cox MP had been: she was therefore perceived to have the same support for immigration to this country that has been advanced as a reason for Jo Cox’s death, and more especially for National Action’s support for the actions of her murderer,” Atkinson said.

During the meeting Renshaw said that after killing Cooper he would take some people hostage and would demand that DC Henderson attended the scene. “His plan then would be to kill the officer who was, he said, his real target,” Atkinson said.

Renshaw said he had already purchased the machete that he would use to carry out the killing. The weapon, marketed online as offering “19 inches of unprecedented piercing and slashing power at a bargain price”, was later found by police hidden in an airing cupboard.

Renshaw’s internet search history also related to wounding and his identified target, Cooper.

The court heard how nothing of significance would happen without Lythgoe’s approval, and that was why Renshaw brought up the plan. Lythgoe’s alleged response was to give his consent by saying “don’t fuck it up”. He also advised Renshaw to take precautions to ensure his media devices were not linked to other members in the group, the court heard.

Atkinson, prosecuting, said: “The politically and racially motivated killing of an MP would be an act of terrorism, and Renshaw is charged with preparing to carry out just an act.”

Mullen, believing that Renshaw was serious and there was a real and imminent threat to life, reported what had been said to his contacts at Hope Not Hate, after which Cooper was warned of the threat and a police investigation was launched.

National Action was the first extreme rightwing group to be proscribed since the second world war, and the 85th group to be proscribed in the UK overall.
The Guardian

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a Gladius Machete to kill Rosie Cooper last summer

Jack Renshaw has admitted plotting to kill the MP

Jack Renshaw has admitted plotting to kill the MP

An alleged National Action member has admitted plotting to murder an MP.

Jack Renshaw, 23, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, bought a Gladius Machete to kill Rosie Cooper last summer.

On the opening day of his trial, Renshaw pleaded guilty to preparing acts of terrorism as well as making a threat to kill police officer Victoria Henderson.

Judge Mr Justice Jay directed the jury to deliver a formal guilty verdict on the first two charges Renshaw faces.

He is on trial alongside Christopher Lythgoe, 32, from Warrington, who denies giving Renshaw permission to murder the West Lancashire MP on behalf of National Action on July 1 last year.

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

Renshaw admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper

The pair, along with Garron Helm, 24, of Seaforth, Merseyside, Matthew Hankinson, 24, of Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, Andrew Clarke, 33, and Michal Trubini, 35, both of Warrington, also deny membership of the banned far right group.

The case continues in court.

 Court sketch of the accused sat in the Old Bailey (Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS.com)

Court sketch of the accused sat in the Old Bailey (Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS.com)

Daily Mirror

White supremacist Ethan Stables deemed ‘risk to the public’ after planning terror act

A white supremacist who planned to carry out a machete attack at a gay pride event has been detained indefinitely in hospital.

Ethan Stables, 20, was convicted in February of planning an act of terrorism after he boasted online of his planned attack on an LGBT event at a pub in Cumbria.

Armed police swooped on Stables as he walked towards the New Empire pub in Barrow, Cumbria, on 23 June in 2017. He was unarmed but police later found an axe and a machete at his home.

Officers had received a tip-off from a member of a far-right Facebook group where Stables posted a message saying he was “going to war” and that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay bastards”.

Stables, who has an autism spectrum disorder, was described by a judge as a “risk to the public” as he was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order at Leeds crown court on Wednesday.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, said although Stables had not carried out the attack he had caused “alarm and distress” with the plans he had made.

The judge added: “It’s my clear decision that, for the protection of the public, a hospital order and restriction order are necessary.”

During Stables’ trial jurors were shown police bodycam footage of officers searching the defendant’s bedroom, where they discovered an arsenal of knifes, an air rifle and a machete, and a large Nazi flag pinned to the wall. A government explosives expert told the court that material found in the flat could have been used to make a credible bomb.

He denied he was doing a “recce” of the pub he planned to attack when he was arrested and said he was on his way to sit outside the jobcentre to use its free public wifi.

After he was arrested, police found Stables had made internet searches for “how to make chemical poison”, “what is prison like for a murderer”, “I want to go on a killing spree” and “do you get haircuts in prison”.

The jury was shown a video of him burning a rainbow flag while saying: “Look at it, that rainbow, so much nicer when it’s on fire. It’s just like gay people. Much nicer when they’re on fire.”

Stables can also be heard talking about joining the DUP to “execute gay people” and the English Defence League, while another man can be heard discussing what food he is going to order in the background.

The court heard that Stables had swapped messages with fellow extremists, blaming the fact that he was jobless on “faggots, niggers, spastics” and the Equalities Act.

He expressed a hatred of Muslims and Jews, and claimed in a WhatsApp message a month before his arrest: “My country is being raped … I might just become a skinhead and kill people.”

In a conversation on Facebook to which police were alerted, Stables said: “There’s a pride night. I’m going to walk in with a machete and slaughter every single one of them.” He added: “I don’t care if I die. I’m fighting for what I believe in and that is the future of my country, my folk and my race.”

During the trial, Stables’ barrister described him as “lonely and inadequate”, arguing that he was a “white fantasist” and not a white supremacist.

Stables claimed he had made racist and homophobic comments only to fit in with the people to whom he was speaking online. He told his trial that he was politically liberal and a bisexual, having had sexual experiences with men.

Giving evidence, Stables’ mother Elaine Asbury said her son had been radicalised when he went to visit his girlfriend in Germany. She said she had received little support from mental health services in looking after her son and had thrown him out of her home when he was 17 because he threatened to decapitate her and burn the house down.

The Guardian

Ethan Stables, 20, was arrested by armed police in Barrow, Cumbria after he bragged of planning to “slaughter every single one of the gay b******s”

 Stables had taken videos of him trying to light a Rainbow flag, associated with gay pride, on fire (Image: GMP)

Stables had taken videos of him trying to light a Rainbow flag, associated with gay pride, on fire (Image: GMP)

A homophobic neo-Nazi terrorist has been detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital after plotting an axe and machete attack on a pub’s gay pride night.

Armed police swooped on 20-year-old Ethan Stables as he walked towards the New Empire in his hometown of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, last summer.

Officers had received a tip-off after white supremacist Stables posted a Facebook message saying he was “going to war” and that he planned to “slaughter every single one of the gay b******s”.

He also filmed a video of himself setting fire to a gay pride flag, and posing next to a swastika.

Although he was unarmed when he was arrested on June 23, police found an axe, a machete and knives at his home, his trial heard.

The right-wing extremist had a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall and bought a new Nazi armband after his was taken by police when he was arrested.

Stables, who told a court he was bisexual, had Googled “how to make chemical poison”, “what is prison like for a murderer”, “I want to go on a killing spree” and, bizarrely, “do you get haircuts in prison”.

Officers discovered that, as well as researching firearms, he had also looked into methods for making a bomb.

Stables was found guilty in February at Leeds Crown Court of preparing an act of terrorism and making threats to kill.

Jurors heard he communicated his hatred for Muslims and Jews, with one WhatsApp message reading: “My country is being raped.

“I might just become a skinhead and kill people.”

He had admitted a number of other offences before the start of his trial.

The jury was shown a video of him burning a rainbow flag and posing next to a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall.

He had espoused homophobic, racist and Nazi views online, the court was told.

Giving evidence, Stables, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, claimed he was a just fantasist and was himself bisexual.

 There was also a selection of weapons Stables may have used in the planned massacre (Image: SWNS.com)

There was also a selection of weapons Stables may have used in the planned massacre (Image: SWNS.com)

Following his conviction, his barrister Patrick Upward QC told the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, that Stables led a “melancholy life” up to the day of his arrest and lived in “almost squalid conditions”.

Mr Upward said: “He bears no comparison with the men who attacked Corporal (Lee) Rigby, no comparison with the men who went on the rampage at Borough Market and no comparison with the man who ran people over on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police officer.

“Whatever he was doing that night, he did not have a fuse to set it off. He did not have the wherewithal to make the fuse.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford told the judge that Stables had intended to attack multiple persons and had looked at a number of ways of doing it.

Stables told the court he is bisexual and has an autism spectrum condition.

He denied he was doing a “recce” of the venue when he was arrested and said he was heading out to sit outside the jobcentre to use the free public WiFi.

Daily Mirror

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