Teenager accused of planning neo-Nazi terror told police he was a ‘9 to 10 on Hitler scale’

Boy sought information on converting blank-firing gun into lethal weapon, court told

Lizzie Dearden
Security Correspondent
@lizziedearden
Thursday 03 September 2020 18:58

A teenage boy accused of preparing acts of far-right terrorism rated himself as a nine or 10 on the “full-on Nazi Hitler” scale, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allegedly a member of the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) neo-Nazi group and is accused of researching how to convert a blank-firing gun into a lethal weapon.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that in August last year, police found two knives, an air rifle and airsoft handgun, drawings and notes on gun modifications and metal items in his bedroom.

When interviewed by police two weeks later, the teenager allegedly admitted speaking to neo-Nazis online and discussing making firearms, but said it was “all a fantasy”.

Prosecutor Matthew Brook told the court: “When asked to put himself on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being ‘full-on Nazi Hitler’, he said he was a nine to 10.”

The boy allegedly said that he had believed a race war would soon begin and had “held right-wing views for a number of years”.

“He said to the police that ... he had recently been talking to more extreme people,” Mr Brook told jurors.

"He claimed that, although he had been discussing with these people about converting guns, it had in fact all been a fantasy and he had not done anything in the real world."

Jurors were shown photographs of items found in the youth's home, including two knives, a rubber practice knife, a face-mask featuring an image of a skull, and a piece of aluminium pipe.

Sketches of home-made gun designs and one of a DIY shotgun shell were also found in a notebook, the court heard.

The boy told police the sketches found were "just doodles" or "venting", while claiming his online chats were "a game" and had been "pure fantasy".

Mr Brook said the boy claimed not to have been preparing for acts of terrorism, but added: "What the prosecution say is that the defendant was associating himself with extreme right-wing groups who saw acts of terrorism, such as so-called lone wolf shootings, as good.

The boy (not pictured) was allegedly a member of the Feuerkrieg Division group

"He shared their ideology and shared their view that action should be taken to accelerate the race war.

"He gave practical advice about guns, to people he believed had the same extreme right-wing ideology as him. Why? Because he wanted people to act - to arm themselves with guns and to use them.

"The prosecution do not have to prove which specific act of terrorism the defendant either intended to commit himself, or what specific act of terrorism he intended the people he was assisting to commit.

"But it amounts to people arming themselves, with guns or other weapons, to commit acts of violence for ideological extreme right-wing reasons. That was what he was taking steps to prepare for, before, thankfully, the police intervened."

The defendant was not present in court for the third day of his trial on Thursday. Judge Paul Farrer QC told the court the youth had chosen not to attend, and instructed jurors not to hold his absence against him.

The court previously heard that the defendant said he was “getting armed and getting in shape” in an online chat.

In a “test” to join FKD, the boy allegedly wrote that Jewish people “must be eradicated”, called fascism “the pursuit of restoring the natural order” and said he wanted to “go out there and provoke” a race war.

The jury heard that the teenager and other members of FKD praised Anders Breivik, the white supremacist who massacred 77 people in Norway in 2011, and called him a “saint”.

The defendant is also accused of praising the Christchurch terrorist Brenton Tarrant, and had a recording of the shootings he carried out at two mosques last year on his phone.

He denies preparing terrorist acts between April and September last year. The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association