Teenage neo-Nazi convicted of planning terrorist acts
A teenage neo-Nazi who listed venues in his home city “worth attacking” has been convicted of preparing to commit terrorist acts.
The 16-year-old boy drafted his own manifesto entitled A Manual For Practical And Sensible Guerrilla Warfare Against The Kike System In The Durham City Area, Sieg Heil.
Targets in Durham such as schools, pubs, council buildings and post offices were identified in the first chapter, Areas To Attack, to “maximise the impact of the attacks and damage the system the most”.
The youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, also wrote of planning to conduct an arson spree with Molotov cocktails on local synagogues.
Various handwritten documents were seized from his bedroom in March by police who also found a collection of far-right literature, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Analysis of his computer devices and mobile phone uncovered numerous internet searches on firearms, explosives and knives.
On Wednesday a jury found him guilty of preparation of terrorist acts between October 2017 and March this year.
The youth was also unanimously found guilty of disseminating a terrorist publication, possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism and three counts of possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful to a terrorist.
Sentencing will take place on January 7.
The defendant sat forward in the dock with his hand covering his face and then wiped away tears with a tissue as the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, Judge David Stockdale, QC, thanked jurors for their attention to the case.
The youngster’s parents, who attended court throughout the six-week trial, looked on from the balcony of the public gallery as he was further remanded in custody.
In the month before his arrest in March the defendant repeatedly searched for and visited websites related to “lone wolf” attacks by the likes of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, the Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik and Columbine High School shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
He had also purchased the manifestos of Breivik and another terrorist, Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber.
In journal entries the youth wrote of his admiration for Adolf Hitler – “a brave man to say the least”, Moors murderer Ian Brady – “how wonderful it is to be an amoral individual” and murderous cult leader Charles Manson.
In August 2018 he wrote a things-to-do list, which included the instruction “shed empathy” and referenced a shooting at a video gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, where two people were killed. Alongside the list was a quote from Manson: “When I stand on the mountain and say do it, it gets done. If it don’t get done then I’ll move on it and that’s the last thing in the world you want me to do.”
The youth also wrote of his dislike of school, spoke disparagingly of Durham having a Jewish MP and described the North East as a “shithole”, stating “the people are loathable, the sights forgettable and the police laughable”.
Opening the case, prosecutor Michelle Nelson QC said the seized material had revealed the defendant had been a follower of a right-wing ideology since 2016.
By late 2017 his views hardened as he became an adherent of neo-Nazism, she said.
In October 2018 he wrote “In journal format I hope to record events from now all the way to the inevitable race war” and by December 2018 had joined an extreme right-wing website forum, said to be an online meeting ground for fascists who wrote about “direct actions”.
On the first day he accessed the forum, the defendant downloaded a manual which contained a viable recipe for the highly explosive chemical ammonium nitrate, and later posted on the site a publication which contained instructions on the making of homemade firearms, ammunition and silencers.
Giving evidence the defendant said he had few friends and claimed he adopted a fake right-wing persona for “shock value” to feel better about himself.
He claimed he had no intention of carrying out any attacks.
Following the verdicts, Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “The extreme right-wing views and hateful rhetoric displayed by this teenager are deeply concerning and we cannot account for those who may have been susceptible to his influence or how they may act in the future.
“His extensive repetitious internet searches, diary entries and escalating behaviour combined with his desire for notoriety highlight how dangerous he could have become had he not come to the attention of the authorities.
“Whilst no single target for an attack was identified the handwritten expression of his mindset combined with his aspiration to commit violence towards others cannot be underestimated and could not go unprosecuted.”