21:40 GMT29 January 2020
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    A teenager was arrested back in March after being discovered to have disseminated white nationalist literature online. He had previously been questioned in 2017 by the police after posting homophobic and racist tweets but he told them they were written just "for a laugh".

    A 17-year old neo-Nazi who planned to attack targets around Durham, including synagogues, has become the youngest person to be convicted of planning a terror attack in the UK on Tuesday.

    The teenager, who has not been named, has been jailed for 6 years and 8 months after publishing a manifesto designed to inspire other white nationalist terrorists, as reported by the BBC.

    His detention will also be followed by a potential 5-year extension period.

    The manual included calls for an "inevitable race war" in his diary and a list of locations throughout Durham which he planned to attack.

    A jury had found the boy guilty of preparing to carry out acts of terrorism between October 2017 and March 2018.

    During his sentencing at Manchester Crown Court, Judge David Stockdale QC said: 

    “While your youth is a powerful mitigating factor it is also a feature of this case, which is perhaps most disturbing."

    "You are a highly intelligent, widely read, quick-thinking and articulate young man. Given the development of your intellect, the breadth of your reading and your obvious thirst for knowledge, it is a matter of infinite regret that you pursued at such a young age a twisted and - many would say - a sick ideological path."

    Medical experts concluded that the teenager had autism spectrum disorder and it played a role in his actions, according to the judge.

    Mitigating, Nigel Evans QC said the youth's lack of contrition could be seen "as part of his autism, his ADHD", as well his parents who previously did not see cause for concern.

    The teenager was found guilty of six terror offenses, both preparation to commit terrorist acts as well as circulating a terrorist publication, possessing an item for a purpose related to terrorism, and three counts of possession of material which included information useful to a terrorist.

    During the trial, it was revealed that he was visiting websites on firearms and had been communicating with a gun auctioneer.

    On the Fascist Forge forum page, he claimed a race war was “inevitable” and advocated accelerationist tactics, including the use of violence to destroy the liberal democratic "system".

    The teenager denied all offences, claiming it was all only for “shock value” and had no intention of following through with the attacks.

    He also said that he had deleted files from his computer after being warned of an imminent police raid a month prior to his arrest.

    An Attack Prevented?

    Following his arrest March, police discovered that he was in possession of instructions on how to make bombs and ricin, and had been uploading firearms manuals to neo-Nazi websites.

    Prior to being arrested, he had outline plans to firebomb synagogues, banks, and pubs in what he believed was an upcoming “race war”. He also wrote down in a diary entry that his approaching 12 weeks of study leave would be “showtime”.

    “I think I am moments away from constructing bombs and weapons, how exciting”, he wrote.

    During his arrest he was carrying a drawing of a fellow pupil being beheaded and a piece of paper found in his pocket read: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it … good hunting Friday”.

    The boy had been openly describing himself as a neo-Nazi on Twitter since 2017, an account which caught the attention of police but has since been deleted.

    A New Terrorism On The Rise

    Manifestos are a common trend among terrorists, particularly white nationalists.

    One example is Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian white nationalist and neo-Nazi terrorist who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting attack at Utøya island, a summer camp for the Worker's Youth League.

    Breivik's manifesto and Youtube videos advocated violence against "leftists" and Muslims to stop the takeover of Europe by "cultural Marxism" and multiculturalism.

    Right-wing extremism has been identified as the fastest-growing terror threat to the UK, despite Islamic terrorists making up the largest portion of incidents.

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    Tags:
    Racism, White Nationalism, counterterrorism, teenager, Terrorism, Neo-Nazi
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