A teenage neo-Nazi accused of plotting a “new Columbine” posed for pictures holding a gun on his Facebook profile and declared himself a Commander of a far-right white power group, the Old Bailey heard.
The 16-year-old schoolboy used the social network site to reveal his affiliation to the Knights Templar, an extremist organisation which counts Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik among its members, it is said. He allegedly had a picture of himself clutching an air rifle as his main profile photo.
The war-obsessed teenager, now 17, who cannot be named, is accused of stockpiling weapon and explosives to carry out a Columbine-style massacre at his former school in Loughborough, Leicestershire.
According to a school friend, the teenager became withdrawn and isolated when they entered year 11, but became “excited” when making racist remarks about Indians and Germans.
“He would say Indians and foreigners shouldn’t really be here, taking jobs with Britain didn’t have or were not getting because of them”, he said. “It was in normal conversations between me, him and others – it wasn’t really aimed at people who were Indian. He seemed a bit into it, excited almost, like he knew what he was talking about and was into it.”
The school friend said he spotted the Facebook entries when he went to unfriend the teenager. “It said on Facebook he’s the Commander of either the Knights Templar round table or some sort”, he told the jury. “I’ve heard of them before, and it’s all pure white people. It’s like a white group with the hats, stuff like that, and it says he’s the Commander or one of them. On his profile page, he is holding the gun, an air rifle or something.”
The teenager is standing trial accused of hoarding partially made pipe and petrol bombs, explosives, knives, air rifles and pistols, and a crossbow for preparation of a terrorist attack.
He and two pals recorded themselves making and testing petrol bombs out of wine bottles and lighter fluid behind a local leisure centre. His notebook reveals potential targets, including his former school and sixth form college in Loughborough, council offices, the local cinema, and Loughborough University, it is said.
He is also accused of possessing parts for an improvised explosive device, and possessing a poison handbook for use in terrorism.
His school friend told the court the defendant was constantly talking about the army, wars, and guns. Towards the end of year 11, he said he became “hidden away” and had no close friends, but would often make racist remarks and inflammatory statements. One of his teachers told the court: “He cut sometimes a lonely and unhappy figure. He was generally unhappy with most students irrespective of the cultural background.”
The court has heard the defendant had a Nazi Swastika flag hung over his bed at home, and kept weapons around his bedroom along with a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Prosecutor Max Hill QC told the jury the teenager kept a notebook of his terrorist plans, which included a list of potential targets and a hit list of school friends and teachers. He also kept a book called Spree Killers: The World’s Most Notorious Gunmen and their Deadly Rampages, in his bedroom which describes infamous massacres, it is said.
The teenager is accused of copying details from killings at Columbine school, Virginia Tech University, Dunblane Primary in Scotland, and the 2010 Cumbria shootings by gunman Derrick Bird into his notebook.
A handwritten note inside the book read: “This is my favourite book and some of the people in this book have inspired me to be who and what I am. If anyone is in a bad situation in life, then read this book for all of the people in there will inspire you to take the necessary action.”
He also allegedly hoarded newspaper clippings of notorious killing spree, including by Bird, Breivik and Northumbria gunman Raoul Moat.
The teenager, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, denies possessing an article for a purpose connected with terrorism, possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, and possessing parts for an improvised explosive. He has pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.
The trial continues.