A 17-year-old neo-Nazi from Bradford who made a viable homemade pipe bomb in order to start an “all-out race war” was sentenced to a three-year Youth Rehabilitation Order in Britain. He was also ordered to receive “intensive counseling” from a deradicalization expert.
The UK-based Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) said in a statement Tuesday that it condemned what it called an “unduly lenient sentence which entirely fails to deter terrorism against British Jews.”
The teenager cannot be named for legal reasons; but he’s a member of ‘National Action,’ a violent neo-Nazi group which recruits teenagers and university students.
Britain’s Home Secretary recently designated National Action a proscribed terrorist organization after a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others.
The young terrorist praised the killer of British parliamentarian Jo Cox, prior to his arrest by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) in July 2016. He was caught after a member of the public alerted police to a series of Snapchat photos which included threats to British Jews and other minorities, and an image of the pipe bomb.
One Snapchat post showed a crude, home-made device accompanied by the words “Incendiary explosive and home-made black powder. More to come.”
When police entered his bedroom they said they found it decorated with Nazi flags, including swastikas and the emblem of Hitler’s Waffen SS. The teen’s laptop screen saver was an image of a Nazi eagle over a Swastika and Hitler’s famous slogan: “Ein volk, ein reich, ein führer” (one people, one nation, one führer).
Police said they found the bomb itself in a drawer. They even found what he had posted on social media: “I wish the Nazis had won the war. I wish I could have lived back then and fought alongside the British free Korps, and had the privilege of praising the Führer. Hail Hitler!”
Last month this young neo-Nazi was found guilty of making explosives, but he was acquitted of the preparation of terrorist acts.
Head of Investigations at the North East CTU, Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, said, “The fact that this individual had constructed a viable device, capable of causing injury or harm, is extremely concerning. To make and possess such a device is dangerous and constitutes a serious criminal offense.”
Nevertheless, Justice Goss said in handing down his sentence that the teen needed “a considerable amount of work and attention” in order to address his behavior.
The judge told the teen he rejected his claim to have been “merely fooling about with fireworks,” saying, “You have continued to express extreme views.”
The young neo-Nazi would have received “a substantial custodial sentence,” said Judge Goss, had he been convicted of “preparing terrorist acts,” but he wasn’t.
The teenager told the court he still held Nazi views.
In its release, CAA denounced what it called a “pitiful sentence” in which it said “once again sees a neo-Nazi being given carte blanche.”
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism underscored the fact that the teenage neo-Nazi “was an active member of a terrorist group that openly advocates the slaughter of Jews.
“Having been convicted of possessing the means and the intent to murder, this is an unacceptably lenient sentence which reflects neither the severity of the crime nor serves as a deterrent to others,” he said.
“We have asked the Attorney General to review this sentence.”