Neo-Nazi terror cell was ‘trying to equip themselves with the means for violent action’, court told

Police found 3D-printed gun parts and explosives in ‘family home’ in Yorkshire

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Editor
Friday 21 January 2022 19:47 GMT
The Oaken Hearth Telegram channel was used by the defendants to recruit neo-Nazis and share terrorist material
The Oaken Hearth Telegram channel was used by the defendants to recruit neo-Nazis and share terrorist material (Telegram)

A neo-Nazi terrorist cell was “trying to equip themselves with the means for violent action”, a court has heard.

Three men and a woman are on trial at Sheffield Crown Court for alleged terrorist activity over the first four months of last year.

Samuel Whibley, 29, Daniel Wright, 29, Liam Hall, 31, and his girlfriend Stacey Salmon, 29, deny a total of 15 terror and firearm charges.

In the Keighley home shared by couple Hall and Salmon, police found an improvised explosive device, homemade explosive substances, chemicals and parts of a 3D-printed handgun.

Jurors were told that notes on how to manufacture gunpowder were found scrawled on a school letter, and Hall later told police he was “trying to get his children into rocketry”.

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC said the defendants had a “clear racial and ideological cause”, and believed in an oncoming race war in Britain.

“Again and again, we see these defendants trying to equip themselves with the means for violent action, using the types of weapons that would and could undoubtedly be used to cause or threaten serious violence against people - particularly firearms, and also knives, combat knives,” she told jurors on Friday.

“We’ve seen the efforts they have put into researching and assembling homemade firearms, and providing others with the means to do exactly that.

“In addition you’ve seen the research into explosive substances and IEDs, and the tests that were carried out, the chemicals purchased, the substances cooked up in the Hall-Salmon family home.”

The court heard that an unfinished “improvised firearm” found in the kitchen was found to have Hall, Salmon and Wright’s DNA on it.

Wright allegedly made online posts showing himself with the 3D printer at his friends’ home, as well as videos showing experiments with explosives.

All three defendants lived in Keighley, while the fourth was from Anglesey in Wales and had not met them in person, the court heard.

A general view of Sheffield Crown Court, Sheffield (Dave Higgens/PA)
A general view of Sheffield Crown Court, Sheffield (Dave Higgens/PA) (PA Archive)

Whibley is accused of setting up a neo-Nazi public channel on the encrypted Telegram app, and linked private chat, which Wright joined.

Ms Darlow said the channel and chat “encouraged readers to take violent action”.

“Posts analyse how to take action most effectively,” she told jurors.

“It wasn’t about academic interest or theorising, this was about finding the ways and means to copy those responsible for the worst extreme right wing atrocities.”

The jury was shown posts praising Adolf Hitler and praising terrorists including the Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant, Norway terrorist Anders Breivik and Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh as “saints”.

In January 2021, Whibley allegedly used the chat to urge “those who are capable of action to work together”.

“No more lone wolf ‘take a few with me’ s***, as much as we love it isn’t good enough. Work in teams and cause utter mayhem when you strike,” said the post.

During an online conversation including fellow defendant Wright on 28 April, Whibley said people should not “waste their lives for what five, 10 enemies” and urged them to “think bigger”.

Whibley, of Menai Bridge in Anglesey, is charged with two counts of disseminating terrorist publications using the Oaken Hearth Telegram Channel and linked chat.

He is also charged with encouraging terrorism by sharing a cache of documents including bomb and weapons manuals, and disseminating the files.

Whibley faces three further charges of disseminating other terrorist documents and a separate count of encouraging terrorism.

Wright, of Braithwaite, Keighley, is charged with one count of disseminating a terrorist document and three counts of possessing terrorist documents.

He and Hall, of Keighley, are jointly accused of manufacturing a prohibited firearm.

They are also charged, alongside Salmon, of possessing a prohibited firearm.

Wright, Hall and Salmon are jointly charged with possessing components of a 3D-printed gun for a terrorist purpose.

They deny all charges and the trial continues.

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