An alleged Nazi sympathiser currently standing trial in Birmingham has pleaded not guilty to preparing an act of terrorism.
Birmingham Crown Court heard last week that 24-year-old Ben Styles of Leamington Spa posted in an online group called “#Kill All the Jews”, and had begun building a submachine gun to use against Jewish people. He reportedly posted in the online group: “I hope the holocaust is real next time.”
Prosecutors said that Mr Styles told his friend that he was “just getting as strong as possible for the war” and sent screenshots of his phone which used images of swastikas for the background.
Referring to his phone’s background image, Mr Styles reportedly told his friend: “Waking up and seeing this lock screen to start my day is far more important than some non-person NHS clapper shouting at me about primary school history.”
Mr Styles reportedly said of the New Zealand Christchurch terrorist attack: “I just got back from New Zealand – it made me super racist. Then that happened and I had a good day.”
Prosecutor Matthew Brook told the court that a Nazi fitness manual and a book titled “The SS family yearly – celebrations of the SS family” was found in Mr Styles’ garage, along with the lower part and top part of a homemade submachine gun and shop-bought blanks with manuals which “showed the reader how to convert blank bullets into functioning live ammunition”.
Mr Brook continued: “In this case, the evidence will prove that the defendant, Ben Styles, fully believed in extreme right-wing ideology. That is the twisted ideology of Nazis and white supremacy. The evidence will show that the defendant had collected on an encrypted USB drive instruction manuals about how to build guns and how to make live ammunition.
“When the police searched his home on 15th February last year, they found that he had closely and carefully followed the instructions in one of those manuals and was well on his way to making a homemade submachine gun.
“He had also started to make ammunition. He had also written a manifesto which talked about, in his words ‘working to fulfil my mission’, and set out his views about being in a religious war against the Jews and other targets of extreme right-wing terrorists.
“The evidence will show, it will prove, that the defendant was preparing to commit a terrorist act.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.
Image credit: Google