Neo-Nazi jailed for bomb plot

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The Independent Online

A neo-Nazi who was about to launch a racist terror campaign on the streets of Britain was today jailed indefinitely.

Neil Lewington, 44, wanted to emulate his far-right heroes, Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh and Soho nail bomber David Copeland.

The unemployed electrician, of Tilehurst, Reading, kept video compilations about their murderous attacks at his home.

Police discovered a bomb factory in his bedroom after he was arrested by chance at Lowestoft railway station, Suffolk, for drunkenly abusing a female conductor.

When he was stopped and searched at the station in October last year he was found to be carrying components for two "viable improvised incendiary devices".

Anti-terror police then raided the home where he lived with his parents and found evidence that he planned to make tennis ball shrapnel bombs to target Asian families, along with detonators and explosives.

They also discovered a notebook entitled "Waffen SS UK members' handbook" with a logbook of drawings of electronics and chemical devices.

The link between his extremist views and interest in explosives was illustrated by a note reading "compressed thermite grenade vs Paki front door".

He also wrote a chilling "mission statement" in which he boasted of two-man hit squads attacking "non-British people" at random.

Lewington told one woman that "the only good Paki was a dead Paki".

He was today at the Old Bailey given an indeterminate sentence for public protection and told he must serve at least six years in jail after being convicted of having explosives with intent to endanger life and preparing for terrorism.

Lewington was also found guilty of two charges of having articles for terrorism including weedkiller, firelighters and three tennis balls, two counts of having documents for terrorism, and one allegation of having explosives.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said: "This man, who had strong if not fanatical right wing leanings and opinions, was on the cusp of embarking on a campaign of terrorism against those he considered non-British.

"In addition to his extreme views on race and ethnicity, the defendant had an unhealthy interest in bombers as well as bombings.

"He admired, and might soon have emulated, the bombers about whom he possessed two compilation video tapes, had he not been captured, albeit quite fortuitously."

Judge Peter Thornton said: "You are a dangerous man, somebody who exhibits emotional coldness and detachment. You would not have been troubled by the prospect of endangering somebody's life."

The judge said the devices Lewington was found with at Lowestoft were made "to a very high standard" and all that was needed to set them off was to wire up the igniters and timers.

"These were dangerous firebombs, meticulously constructed, all set to go," said the judge.

What police found at Lewington's home was a "veritable store of components for explosives and incendiary devices", including nearly 9lb (4kg) of weedkiller, pyrotechnic powders, fuses and igniters.

While he had selected no specific target to attack, he "clearly had in mind" Asian and black people, said the judge.

He also made disparaging reference to "retards" and sometimes after a few drinks "slipped into racist mode" while chatting to shocked acquaintances.

The judge told Lewington: "You were in the process of embarking upon terrorist activity. You were going to use or threaten action involving either serious violence to people or serious damage to property.

"This action was designed to intimidate non-white people and it was for the purpose of pursuing the ideological cause of white supremacy and neo-fascism, albeit in a rather unsophisticated way."