A man known for expressing extreme right wing views has been jailed for building a homemade taser and threatening to attack Muslims.
Darren Dale, from Blackpool, was being monitored by police officers before his arrest. When they attended his home on Valentines Day for a pre-arranged visit, he made racist comments, Preston Crown Court heard.
He went on to detail his violent plans to attack and kill Muslims.
The 41-year-old the showed the officers several weapons he had obtained, including a steel bar from a dumb bell, a knife and two tasers.
He had made one of the two tasers himself and that it was as powerful as a police one. It simply needed a battery to work, he said.
He added that he had been watching YouTube videos on making explosive devices.
After obtaining permission to search his property, officers later arrested Dale and recovered the weapons. They also found black plastic block with wires sticking out.
Charged with threats to kill and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon, Dale pleaded guilty to both counts and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
“It’s horrifying that an individual planned to carry out a pre-empted venomous attack intending to harm people because of their religion,” said Detective Superintendent Will Chatterton of Greater Manchester Police after the trial. “As a result of our police officers working closely with Counter Terrorism specialists, Dale’s intentions were thwarted long before he could ever carry them out and I hope that is a fact that gives people good reason to be confident in the ability of the police to identify, prevent and prosecute such offenders.
“Our first priority will always be to keep people safe.”
The sentencing comes amid heightened concern over the far-right terror threat, which has been incorporated into government assessments for the first time.
Recent statistics released by the Home Office showed that more than half of a record number of religiously-motivated hate crimes were directed at Muslims in 2017/18.
The number of people referred to the Prevent counter-extremism programme over suspected far-right extremism has rocketed by 36 per cent in the same period.
British security services say Isis-inspired groups and individuals pose the biggest threat to the UK, but five right-wing terror plots have been foiled since March 2017.