Teenage army cadet jailed for bomb plot

|News, Terrorism

A teenager from Bradford has been jailed for making a bomb at home after viewing videos online featuring death, mutilation and torture. He told the jury he had done it as a joke and to show off to other students.

He was found guilty in May and on Friday 20 September was sentenced to five years in prison.

During his trial the CPS explained to the court that he followed a step-by-step guide to bomb making that he downloaded from the dark web. His explanation could not be correct as he kept his activities a secret from everyone.

In June last year he watched a number of videos including anti-Muslim videos made by the English Defence League (EDL), a non-EDL video showing violence towards Muslims, videos related to the Columbine high school massacre in 1999 and a documentary on how Al-Qaeda inspired terrorists planned to bring down planes using liquid bombs. He then looked on Amazon to get the liquid they planned to use.

The teen searched for information on how to build a bomb and immediately started making one. The chilling introduction in the manual he downloaded stated it would be small and simple and could be used for "crowd control or killing if shrapnel is added".

His internet search history revealed he had looked for information on “how to get over first kill jitters” and “why do I think about killing others”.

The device found at his home consisted of two palm-size CO2 canisters of the type used to help inflate bicycle tyres. He drilled the openings to make them wide enough to insert pins and other shrapnel which were found inside one canister. An explosives expert told the jury at Leeds Crown Court that only gunpowder and a fuse were needed to make it ready to use. He had searched online for fireworks which contain gunpowder.

He lived with his grandparents who knew nothing about his plans.

At the time of his conviction Jenny Hopkins, Head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division in the CPS, said: “His defence was that he was making a fake bomb as a joke and to show off.

“The CPS was able to show evidence that it was not a joke because he kept his activities secret and the device could not have been a dummy as he put deadly shrapnel inside.”

He accepted he made the device and downloaded three terrorism manuals but pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He insisted throughout he had done it to impress his peers and never meant to complete the device.

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