Monthly Archives: October 2013

How many lone wolves do you need before you have a pack?

The conviction of racist terrorist Pavlo Lapshyn has got one murdering scumbag off the streets, but we should not delude ourselves that the problem of racist-inspired acts of terrorism has disappeared.

Lapshyn may have been acting alone, as has been claimed, but it is clear he was fuelled by prejudices and hatreds which have inspired many others to carry out terrorist campaigns. He is not an isolated case.

“Lone wolves”

A teenager from Loughborough, who was associated with the EDL’s Leicester Division, is currently on trial at the Old Bailey accused of “plotting a terrorist attack, having a terrorist manual, and possessing parts for an improvised explosive”. He kept a notebook of potential targets which included Loughborough mosque and had a Nazi flag above his bed.

This not a new development. In 2011, Searchlight Magazine published a report looking at “lone wolf” terrorists in the UK, which included “case studies of nearly 40 individuals holding  far-right political views who have been convicted for violence or terrorist offences” between the 1960s and the date of publication.

Fortunately, most of these wannabe-terrorists suffered from the same incompetence which has traditionally characterised the British far-right, but some managed to carry out their plans, inflicting harm on innocent victims. Perhaps the most famous example is the “Brixton bomber” David Copeland who killed three people, including a pregnant woman, and injured 139, four of whom lost limbs.

International problem

This is not a uniquely British problem. Recent years have seen Anders Breivik’s killing spree in Norway, the discovery of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell in Germany, the murder of two Senegalese street vendors in Italy by a right-wing extremist to name only three high-profile incidents.

Meanwhile, in the US, The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) reported:

Between 1990 and 2010 there were 145 ideologically motivated homicide incidents committed by far-right extremists in the United States.

Including the Oklahoma City Bombing, which killed 168 individuals, far-right extremists killed 348 individuals during ideologically motivated homicide events between 1990 and 2010. Excluding that attack, far-right extremists killed 180 individuals between 1990 and 2010.

This isn’t meant to scare you. It isn’t like you’re going to trip over a fascist bomber everytime you leave the house. Nevertheless, it is clear that this is a big deal.

The state

It isn’t just us who think this issue needs to be taken seriously. It is something which is also beginning to be understood by state security forces.

Charles Farr, Director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, recently warned:

The biggest weapons caches found in this country in the last five years have been connected with people sympathetic to extreme right-wing causes. More than 30 guns and about 50 explosive devices were found in the possession of Terence Gavan. In terms of sheer quantity, there have been no comparable seizures made in connected with militant Islamists.

Elsewhere, a report by the Department of Homeland Security warned about the issue of right-wing extremism in the US in 2009, but was later repudiated by the Department under pressure from American “conservatives”.

Corporate media

Given the reality of the threat, you might think that it was the kind of thing the mainstream/corporate media would be all over. Whatever their views on militant anti-fascism even the most-conservative rag ought to be able to see the danger posed by fascist terrorists. However, long-time fascist-watcher will be familiar with the contrast between the salacious reporting of supposed Islamist terror threats (many of which disappear once the media loses interest after the initial raids) and the limited or non-existent reporting of the arrest of their fascist counterparts.

In part this might be attributable to the demise of court reporting and serious journalism more widely, in some cases editors may be genuinely unaware of the stories. However, it is clear that in other cases a conscious editorial not to cover these stories. This appears to have happened during the Lapshyn case. Deputy Chief Constable of West Midlands Police David Thompson, writing on his blog, was very critical of the reporting of the police’s appeal for information:

Our circulation of the picture of alleged suspects in the Mosque attacks drew very little coverage; that was frustrating at a time we needed public help. I wonder if you picked another faith and said that there would be a series of bombings at places of worship during a major religious period and the police had a picture of the alleged attacker you might think it would get more coverage?

It is hard to imagine any other explanation for the lack of coverage than the racism Thompson implies.

What is to be done?

Many will look to the state to protect us from this threat and it is true that intervention by the Old Bill has curtailed the terroristic aspirations of many wannabe fascist terrorists. However, we’ve written previously about the dangers of anti-fascist relying on the state. In any case, simply nicking those bombers stupid enough to get caught does nothing to deal with the racist milieu from which they emerge.

Even the genuine “lone wolves” do not wake-up one day and decide to go out and bomb a mosque, they will have been indoctrinated in those ideas, either as part of the far-right (eg David Copeland) or through far-right websites (as appears to have happened with Lapshyn). The best way to prevent that indoctrination is to challenge those ideas and the organisation which disseminate them. In short: we need to build a serious, effective, international anti-fascist movement.

Nazi graffiti on church?!

“Nazi and National Front slogans and logos” have been graffitied on buildings in Lincolnshire.

In and of itself, this is fairly unremarkable, what is strange about this is that one of the buildings targeted was a church, rather than the more usual mosque.

According to the Boston Standard:

The material was found on the doors and windows of the church hall at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Westhorpe Road, Gosberton, on Sunday.

It is not clear how long the graffiti had been there.

The offenders used black spray paint and are also said to have daubed messages onto the wall of a garage opposite the church and on an electricity hut on Salem Street.

The Police are going through the motions of asking for witnesses, but there can’t be much chance of people coming forward. Generally only the stupidest perpetrators of this sort of activity ever get caught (like the kid in Leicestershire who decided to include his own tag in pro-EDL scrawling on a local mosque).

New leader of EDL from Lincolnshire?

Elliott Fountain, former English Democrat councillor, one-time Police and Crime Commissioner candidate and admirer of Enoch Powell has claimed that he is the new leader of the EDL.

Fountain tweeted, “Proud to be the new leader of the EDL, on national news tomo to make announcement.”

Elliott Fountain on Twitter

Elliott Fountain makes his “announcement” on Twitter

It isn’t yet clear if Fountain’s claim is credible, or if it is simply a drug-fuelled fantasy. It has been reported in the Boston Standard, but as so often in local media, there is nothing to suggest they’ve done anything to fact check his claims. A number of journalists seem to have contacted Fountain via Twitter, but the story has yet to appear anywhere else.

The appointment(?) of Fountain as leader would be particularly surprising following the announcement of Tim Ablitt as chairman of the EDL after a meeting of the “regional organisers” last week.

Fountain certainly isn’t an obvious choice for leader given his predilection for making an arse of himself of Facebook and drug-addled rants against opponents. He lost his seat on Boston Borough Council earlier this year because he didn’t bother to turn up for six months. If this is for real then the EDL are clearly desperate.

An alternative possibility is that this is one of the first signs of a power struggle within the EDL, now that Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon has given his erstwhile comrades the heave-ho.

Teenager convicted for EDL graffiti in Leicestershire

A 17-year-old from Oadby in Leicestershire has pleaded guilty to two charges of racially-aggravated criminal damage for leaving graffiti outside a Oadby Central Mosque.

The teenager scrawled “EDL” on a charity bin outside the mosque and on the building’s windows on two separate occasions.

The graffiti appeared in the aftermath of the murder of Lee Rigby in London and at the hieght of fears about a racist backlash. In a statement read out in court, Muhammed Katib, chairman of the mosque, which is also a community centre, told how Muslims were in fear of being attacked.

According to the Leicester Mercury,

[Katib] said: “This really rang alarm bells.”

After the killing of Mr Rigby, mosques had been set on fire.

“We were on red alert and very concerned about what had happened,” said Mr Katib.

“We were fearful that the mosque would be damaged or set on fire or people would be attacked.”

Mr Katib told how the mosque was watched 24 hours a day for a while, and worshippers stayed away for fear of being targeted.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age (although we’ll keep an eye on teh interwebs in case he’s stupid enough to identify himself on Facebook) clearly isn’t very bright and was arrested after police identified his tag on the graffiti. When police raided his home, they found pens which matched the colour of the graffiti on the bin.

When arrested, the teenager said that he had heard about the Rigby murder and did not like it.

Now (unsurprisingly) he has expressed regret for his actions, saying “I am sorry if I caused any grief or fear or anything.”

He was given a 12-month rehabilitation order with supervision. He will be electronically tagged for two months and must observe a curfew between 9pm and 7am every day.

Guramit Singh in prison

Former EDL spokesman Guramit Singh Kalirai is now in prison after his brief period on the run.

Singh from Bramcote, Nottinghamshire, took to Facebook to make a long-winded proclamation of innocence in which he claimed he had “been in contact with metropolitan police and agreed to hand [himself] in,” although the Nottingham Post reported that he was “caught […] in Long Eaton on Sunday.”

The Nottingham Post glossed over his connections with the EDL, only mentioning them in connection with the “taunts” Singh directed at police on Facebook while on the run:

In a slap in the face for officers chasing him, he also posted updates saying he was at the London Eye last Thursday and Trafalgar Square last Friday.

He also ‘shared’ a status update posted by the Luton branch of the far-right group the English Defence League on September 17 – a day he was meant to be in court, which said: “Who is out on the booze with Guramit Singh tonight in Luton?”

This meeting is particularly interesting as it implies that Singh met-up with many of the (then) key figures in the EDL (an organisation which he claims no longer to be involved in) immediately before going on the run. As EDL News note:

It is difficult to believe that their conversation didn’t involve any mention of Kalirai’s plans to evade justice. Yet there’s no indication that Lennon or Carroll reported his plans to the authorities. No doubt the police will be inquiring into this.

Whether any of this will get in the way of the not-at-all extremist aspirations of the leadership which has since left the EDL remains to be seen.

Leicester EDL member faces terrorism charges

A teenager from Loughborough who was associated with the EDL’s Leicester division and claims to have been in contact with Tommy Robinson is currently on trial at the Old Bailey for “plotting a terrorist attack, having a terrorist manual, and possessing parts for an improvised explosive”. He kept a notebook of potential targets which included Loughborough mosque and had a Nazi flag above his bed.

Repost from the Loughborough Echo:

A 16-YEAR-OLD neo-Nazi from Loughborough plotted a Columbine-inspired school massacre using pipe bombs, knives, and a crossbow, the Old Bailey heard this week.

The English Defence League supporter stockpiled home-made bombs, terrorist manuals, and an array of weapons as he planned attacks on his former school and the college where he was studying for his A-Levels, the court was told on Wednesday.

He kept a notebook of potential targets, including Loughborough Mosque, REEL cinema, Loughborough University and council offices, and dubbed plans for an armed assault on his former school as ‘the new Columbine’, it is said.

Inspired by the violent Nick Cave film Outlaw and Heath Ledger’s portrayal of Batman nemesis the Joker in the Dark Knight, the teen allegedly drew up a list of teachers and pupils he wanted to murder.

He scrawled the mantra ‘When order fails, violence prevails’ in his notebook, which had Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara on the front alongside slogans including ‘EDL: No Surrender’, ‘British and Proud’, and Nazi Swastika drawings.

The teenager, who is now 17 and cannot be named because of his age, had a Nazi flag above his bed and wrote essays on his hatred of Muslims.

“You will be considering whether he is just a misfit, or whether he is something altogether more sinister and serious,” said prosecutor Max Hill QC.

“In light of the items he assembled, bombs etc, in light of what he wrote in this notebook, you need to consider whether he was in fact arrested in February this year before he could pursue any further a plan for, or intention, either to terrorise pupils and staff at his college against whom he bore a grudge, or whether he wanted to target other locations.”

The teenager, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is accused of plotting a terrorist attack, having a terrorist manual, and possessing parts for an improvised explosive.

He and two other 17-year-old boys have already admitted possessing petrol bombs and pipe bombs.

Mr Hill said the ‘sheer weight’ of weapons the defendant is accused of possessing at his home in Loughborough set him apart from the other two boys.

“For any average young man, that list is startling,” he said.

“The eye stops at references to partially assembled petrol bombs, it stops upon the reference to pipe bombs, and upon the stab proof vest, on firearms and rifle pistols and the crossbow.”

The jury were shown extracts from the teenager’s notebook, allegedly outlining his attack plans.

He wrote: ‘Before we go into school gates, enter block and chain both exits shut.

‘Enter each classroom taking out the teachers.

‘Use explosives to eliminate most of the students.’

Mr Hill said: “What does he mean by plans and tactics for operation the new Columbine?

“Columbine is a high school in Colorado, USA, which was the scene of an infamous mass shooting in 1999.

“Two students of the college entered and killed more than a dozen of their fellow students and ultimately committed suicide on their own school premises.”

The defendant had drawn in his notebook stick figures with arrows showing where knives, a machete, a sawn-off air rifle, ammunition, and pipe bombs would be concealed inside a trench coat, the court heard.

Mr Hill said other parts of the book contain rantings against Muslims, calling for mass deportation to ‘stop the spread of Sharia law’.

“He is talking about British and European people rising up and fighting Islamic fascism that is sweeping the world,” said Mr Hill.

“He is a member of the EDL Leicester division and a supporter of the Knights Templar, which we suggest are far right wing British National movements.”

In among plans to make bombs out of jerry cans, which could be detonated by mobile phone, the teenager wrote about planning to bomb Loughborough Mosque, the court heard.

He wrote: ‘There’s too many Muslims in the UK and Europe, so we must stop them coming over here and send the ones already over here back home before they take over European governments and put Sharia Law in place.’

The teenager, who is supported in the dock by an intermediary because of his Asperger’s, denies possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism, possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, and possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism.

He has pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon.

The would-be terrorist and his two pals dubbed themselves the United Revolutionary Army as they experimented with making and detonating home-made bombs, the court heard.

The 16-year-old and his two co-defendant donned balaclavas for a series of videos of them preparing Molotov cocktails out of wine bottles and white spirit.

In the first video, shot on February 16 last year, the defendant tells the camera: “This is the URA’s second attempt at a petrol bomb.”

His friend, also covering his face with a balaclava, then prepares the home-made bomb before throwing it at a wall where it explodes into flames.

Jurors heard the bomb tests were filmed at the back of a leisure centre in Loughborough, which is also home to a creche, between February and April last year.

“This is part of the evidence which shows possession of, and through the films, use of explosives,” said Mr Hill.

“These items are clearly dangerous, they clearly explode, causing fire and damage.

“You will have to consider making the allowances for a young defendant, but you have to also consider was this merely play on the part of the defendant and his friends or was it actually preparation for something more, bearing in mind what we know about him.”

Mr Hill said the URA graffiti has been seen sprayed on walls around Loughborough, and is believed to have been created by the defendant.

“They identify themselves as the Urban Revolutionary Army,” he said.

“It appears to be the name the defendant created for themselves.

“Sometime the R stands for ‘rebel’ rather than ‘revolutionary’.”

Mr Hill conceded that the videos are at times ‘funny’ and the attempts to make home-made bombs ‘haphazard’.

But he added: “Is this done for laughs, all self-amusement and clowning around, or does this support the conclusion it was for something more?”

The defendant even jokes to his pals on one of the videos: “If I die during this, split my guns between you.”

The jury were shown more of the teenager’s Che Guevara notebook, in which he is allegedly justifying his potential terrorist targets.

He said his second target after Loughborough Mosque is his community college, the court heard.

“He describes the reasons as personal rather than political, the choice was due to bad experiences he says he has had there,” said Mr Hill.

The teenager is then alleged to outline reasons for targeting Loughborough University, where he had been on work experience.

“It is a reference which may be informative and may in fact be rather chilling,” said Mr Hill.

Mr Hill said the teenager claimed he still had a university uniform which could potentially help gain access to certain areas which most people would not be allowed into.

The boy wanted to target the Reel Cinema in Castle Market, Loughborough, because of ‘the attitude of the staff and the prices of items’, the court heard.

He selected his sixth form college as a possible target if they did not accept him on his GCSE results.

In text messages to one of his co-defendants, the teen is said to further outline his racist ideology.

‘What black friends? I have hardly any friends and they don’t belong here,’ he says.

‘It’s called nationalism mate,’ he continues.

‘Don’t believe the propaganda on the news and on the street. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your race and being willing to fight for it.’

He also writes in his notebook: ‘I don’t hate all Muslims, just the extremists, and the ones who think they can come to our country and do what they like.’

The trial continues.