Warwickshire teen guilty of right wing terrorism offences
A 17-year-old male with extreme right views who offered to build weapons for individuals online has been found guilty of terrorism offences.
The boy from Rugby, who cannot be named for legal reasons due to his age, admitted to nine counts of collecting terrorism information under section 58 of the Terrorism Act. A jury at Birmingham Crown Court has now found him guilty of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism under section 5 of the Terrorism Act.
The ex-Royal Air Cadet was found to have become a member of the online extreme right wing group Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) in July 2019 and started several virtual conversations where he expressed his extreme views and indicated he was planning or had already converted a blank firing weapon into a viable firearm. His original trial began earlier this year before the jury was discharged due to the coronavirus restrictions. The retrial began on 1 September at Birmingham Crown Court.
Detectives found 11 clips of the New Zealand attacks in Christchurch mosques on 15 March 2019 on the accused’s phone together with the shooting in El Paso, Texas on 3 August 2019 and the attacks at the Dayton and Garlic festival and the Anders Breivik attack in Norway. A search of his property revealed several knives, air rifles, face coverings, camouflage face paint, shotgun cartridges and bullet casings, numerous tools and camping equipment as well as two makeshift cardboard targets.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “This boy had an unhealthy interest in other attacks across the world and he knew exactly what online platforms to join to share his extreme views. He believed he had the skills to convert a blank firing weapon into a viable firearm and was willing to help others with his abilities."