Leeds Crown Court has heard that a 17-year-old prepared a viable homemade bomb in preparation for an “all-out race war”. The defendant is allegedly a member of National Action, a violent neo-Nazi group which recruits teenage children and university students. The Home Secretary designated National Action a proscribed terrorist organisation last month after a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others.
Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson told the jury that the teenage defendant made a viable bomb using fireworks after seeking out instructions on the internet. He said that the defendant often wore a business suit, but beneath his respectable veneer he was an unabashed neo-Nazi who allegedly sent friends racist Snapchat messages, leading to police being alerted to what he was preparing.
When police entered his bedroom they found it festooned with Nazi flags including the swastika and the emblem of Hitler’s Waffen SS. His laptop screensaver was an image of a Nazi eagle over a Swastika and Hitler’s famous slogan: “Ein volk, ein reich, ein führer” (one people, one nation, one führer). Police found the bomb in a drawer.
According to the prosecution, police found that after he became involved with National Action, the defendant had written online: “Focusing on making homemade weapons [guns] and explosives, as well as amassing a collection of knives. We don’t have any right to bears arms, so the resistance has to learn to construct its own weapons.” He began attending National Action rallies and participating in sticker campaigns to spread their message, the prosecutor said. In early June, he wrote to a friend on Facebook Messenger: “The IRA is where we get most of our techniques from. We follow them religiously, the way they operated in an urban environment. The way they blended into the population. Urban guerrilla warfare is what we need to learn.” He also posted: “I wish the Nazis had won the war. I wish I could have lived back then and fought alongside the British free Korps, and had the privilege of praising the Führer. Hail Hitler!”
The court heard that the defendant attended a meeting with his mother last July at his college after being found to have put up racist posters. He allegedly dressed in a combat jacket and trousers and steel-capped army boots, and made clear his views that the Holocaust did not happen and that whites were more important than other races.
The prosecution alleges that the defendant was preparing an “all-out race war” and that he praised the methods of the man who murdered Jo Cox, writing on social media following the brutal murder: “Absolute f***ing legend. He’s a hero, we need more people like him to butcher the race traitors.” The defendant, whose name has not been released, denies a charge of preparing a terrorist act and an alternative count of making a explosive device. He allegedly told police: “I’ve simply been fooling around with fireworks and showing them off to my peers in my naivety; I have never had the intention to cause any harm to any person.”
The prosecutor told the jury: “As we will hear in due course, [the defendant] did something with a pipebomb that was less to do with ‘f***ing around with them’ and more to do with an ideological war he was waging.”
We are following the trial with interest.