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.


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