A schoolboy has become the UK’s youngest terrorist after admitting offences from as young as 13, including masterminding a British far-right extremist cell from his grandmother’s cottage.
The child – who told investigators he was just trying to ‘look cool’ – ran the UK branch of the Feuerkrieg Division until July 2019.
Counter-terror police learned of a British-based FKD ‘unit’ operating on the internet and launched a huge investigation to find out who was in the cell.
Against the backdrop of Met assistant commissioner Neil Basu’s insisting far-right terror was Britain’s fastest growing threat, they managed to dismantle the network.
Then after learning of the chatter between members they raided the cottage in Cornwall, worried the teenager could be building a weapon.
Instead they found a computer and mobile packed with far-right material, a nazi flag and the extremist codes ’14’ and 88′, which are codes for Heil Hitler, due to the numbers corresponding alphabet letters, painted on his grandmother’s shed.
He was a little older than the founder of the global group, who was just 14 and from Estonia.
At the Old Bailey today via video-link – alongside his supportive grandmother – he admitted 10 counts of possessing terrorist documents and two counts of distributing terrorist material.
He was directly linked to Paul Dunleavy, 17, jailed for preparing acts of terrorism, after recruiting him to the cause.
Judge Mark Dennis said: ‘The facts of this case are of course extremely serious but I’m not dealing with an adult, I’m dealing with someone who was 14 at one stage, 13 during the time of the offending.
‘We’re dealing with children online sending between themselves and other children or other adults such extremist material.’
Material seized by police from one of the boy’s recruits after they smashed the far-right ring
This offensive material was collected by police from a member of the Feuerkrieg Division
The teenager had branded far-right mass murderers including New Zealand mosque killer Brenton Tarrant ‘saints’ and praised them for having the ‘guts’ to act on their hateful beliefs.
In conversations with the supreme leader of FKD, known only as ‘Commander,’ the youth discussed how to build membership to the cult so that ‘nothing can be traced back to me.’
When he was arrested, the teenager told police he had made homophobic and anti-Semitic posts online to look ‘cool.’
Despite his young age he ran ‘FKD GB’ single-handedly, under the supervision of no one but the overall ‘Commander,’ and threatened members with expulsion if they refused to ‘act.’
The offences date from 10 July 2018 – when he was 13 – to 11 July 2019.
Naomi Parsons, prosecuting, said: ‘He was aged 14 for the most part for the 11 offences but there was one offence committed when he was 13 years of age.
Paul Dunleavy and Luke Hunter were both members of the FKD cell masterminded by the boy
These items were recovered during the investigation into cell member Luke Hunter
The appalling racist bile from the schoolboy terror cell in Cornwall
The schoolboy leader of FKD was only 14 when he chatted with Dunleavy, then 15, about how to make deadly weapons and before Dunleavy made plans to visit a gun shop, the prosecutor said.
Hailing Anders Brevik, the 2011 Norway killer who claimed 77 lives, a ‘saint,’ the teenager called on cult members to spray paint ‘£Breivikdidnothingwrong.’
The youth sourced far-right manifestos with which to vet recruits, including a document called ‘Natural Born Killers 2000’ which urges readers to ‘maim’ people and ’cause mass terror.’
He sent the file to ‘Commander’ for approval saying ‘NBK2000 sort of covers everything.’
Terrorist documents recovered from the boy’s computer included The Big Book of Mischief, the Terrorist Handbook, Home Made Molotov Cocktail and various instruction manuals for ‘killing people with knives’ and ‘hand-to-hand combat.’
The young leader vetted five members and ran the operation for more than a month before police hunted him down.
Ms Parsons said: ‘Count 1 concerns an image of atom bomb/mushroom cloud explosion over the Houses of Parliament, above which is written “Sterilize the cesspit that you call London” (the “Nuke London” image).
‘The FKD-GB shield/logo, comprising a Union Jack flag with the Waffen SS insignia upon it, is at the foot of the image. On 26 June 2019, Commander suggested a Nuke London poster for FKD-GB. he requested the image from another FKD member, EksD, suggesting “a pic of London with sh**tons of non-whites in it”.
‘He posted the image on FKD Wire chat on 22 July 2019 at 17:19. There were 28 members of the FKD wire chat, of which around six were active at the time of posting and who express comments of approval.
‘The context in which he posts the image is in a discussion in which he advocates “nuking” London and New York, and praises individuals who have committed racial mass murder, particularly Anders Breivik. On 21 July 2019, FKD members discuss how they can mark the anniversary of Breivik’s attack, which took place on 22 July 2011.
‘The youth suggests spray painting “£Breivikdidnothingwrong”, and on 22 July 2019, he posts “HAPPY ST BREIVIK DAY”.
‘Immediately after he posts the Nuke London image (Count 1), he posts an image of the island of Utoya, and writes “I would love to visit this completely random island upon which nothing happened 8 years ago today.”
‘Later the same day, he posts an image of Breivik appearing at court, with a Swastika and the words “in hoc signo vinces” (“in this sign thou shalt conquer”).
‘This is the motto of the English Defence League adopted in Breivik’s Complete Manifesto.
‘On 23 July 2019, Commander and [the boy] post about the need for action amongst FKD members.
‘Commander expresses disappointment that only two people in the group “do something”.
‘[He] picks up the theme as follows, [posting]: ‘Recruitment has been closed for at least a month. I want the current members to be active and for us to organize. I also want to hold a vc [voice call] with most or all of the members.”
‘Commander says: “Get off grid, get together and organize. Stop sitting behind a computer screen. Get out there and organise. Your race needs you.
‘[He] sends Commander NBK2000, telling him it is “outdated but still good* it has some good stuff in it”. Indeed, in interview, [he] states that NBK2000 “had it all in one” (I95e) and “sort of covers everything” (I105e). Commander responds by sending back “A Practical Guide to The Aryan Revolution”.
‘I’m told Commander was 13 when he was arrested. Certainly I’ve not seen communications in which Commander reveals his age,’ Ms Parsons added.
Judge Dennis said: ‘The facts of this case are of course extremely serious but I’m not dealing with an adult, I’m dealing with someone who was 14 at one stage, 13 during the time of the offending.
‘We’re dealing with children online sending between themselves and other children or other adults such extremist material.’
‘He came to the attention of Counter Terrorism police in July 2019.
‘They attended his home address in Cornwall following reports he was constructing a weapon in actual fact he was not there was no weapon found at his address but officers searched premises and seized a mobile phone and a desktop computer.
‘Those devices were analysed and the information on them comprise these 12 offences.
‘It’s worth noting that officers found indications that he was interested in the far right.
‘They found a Nazi flag, a hard copy of Iron Gates which is a key text of neo-Nazis depicting apocalyptic violence, and painted on the garden shed were the numbers 14 88 which stands for the 14 words “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and 88 refers to HH or Heil Hitler.
’14 88 is a well recognised Nazi slogan and symbol.
‘He was asked whether he had racist or homophobic views and he said he’d just posted them to look cool he said he had planning to leave the organisation.
‘FKD describes itself as a group of revolutionary national socialists. The organisation was founded in October 2018.
‘The emphasis of the group is on action rather than words. While it is an online community, its aspiration or desire was for not just talk but to actually act.
‘To that end its emphasis was on recruiting those individuals that given this particular emphasis on actions not words.
‘It particularly venerated those individuals who had taken that step from words to actions and the key examples one sees in wire chats between [the youth] and others show they have a respect and admiration for mass murderers such as Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian far right terrorist who [committed] the 2011 attacks, Dylan Roof, who murdered 15 individuals in a church in Charleston in 2015 and most recently Brenton Tarrant who committed the massacre of 51 people in New Zealand in 2019.
‘These are individuals who progressed to acts and a venerated an referred to as saints.
‘The FKD is a violent, racist anti-Semitic and anti-state ideology.
‘Paul Dunleavy was part of the UK FKD cell which was set up by the defendant in this case. He recruited Dunleavy to the group in July 2019 and it is in connection with Mr Dunleavy’s actions as a member of FKD that he was charged and convicted of offences contrary to the Terrorism Act.’
Detailing the youth’s online journey deeper into far-right forums, Ms Parsons said he had first started collecting terrorist material at just 13 when he became a member of notorious cult ‘Fascist Forge.’
The prosecutor said the youth’s sentence should reflect the fact that his behaviour betrayed ‘a maturity beyond his chronological age.’
Ms Parsons said: ‘[The defendant] joined a far-right forum called Fascist Forge in October 2018. That was a forum where individuals of a far-right mindset exchange information and practical tips on combat warfare and how to make explosives.
‘From around October 2018 [he] began collecting far-right material and publications.
‘He was active on terrorist far-right platforms. On those platforms and on the wire chat with members of FKD his views of various parts of society are made clear.
‘The attitudes he expressed on the group can broadly be described as racist, homophobic and anti-semitic attitudes on the group.’
The fanatic chatted with the leader of the group, referred to only as ‘Commander,’ plotting how to recruit violent members while escaping the attention of police.
Despite his young age he was appointed head of the FKD’s British cell, setting up wire chats through which he inducted teenage Hitler fanatic Paul Dunleavy.
The prosecutor went on: ‘He recruited Paul Dunleavy but it’s perhaps helpful if we set out his involvement [with FKD] from the start which began in May 2019.
‘In May 2019 the defendant was in contact with an individual who went by the name of Commander. As a result of communications with him he joined FKD and by 11 June 2019 they agreed to set up FKD GB, the UK cell, and this defendant was to be the leader of that cell.
‘Notwithstanding his young age – he was just 14 at the time – he was in fact very knowledgable about what he was doing. he told commander the overall leader that he would never split off and become a separate group, I quote “unless FKD got proscribed as a terrorist org or SHTF – sh** hits the fan. He was aware of what he was setting up.
Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism Policing Neil Basu
Terror officer described far-right as his ‘fastest-growing problem’
At a briefing in September 2019, Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Head of Counter Terrorism Policing Neil Basu described far-right terror as his fastest-growing problem.
He said seven of the 22 plots foiled since March 2017 have been linked to the ideology.
The officer added: ‘It’s small but it’s my fastest-growing problem.
‘There has definitely been a growth in nationalistic material online, white supremacist literature, things that are extremely disturbing.
‘We are seeing more young people being drawn towards terrorist activity.
‘That is a relatively new and worrying trend in the UK, because just a few years ago we were not seeing anyone that young amongst our casework.’
‘His role was to vet applicants which he would do by asking a series of questions he had agreed with Commander. He was very mindful… And would ask questions so that I quote “nothing can be traced back to me”.
‘With Paul Dunleavy he also discussed getting in touch with previous National Action members.
‘By the time police intervened in July 2019 some six weeks later, he had gathered just five members. In addition to that and his capacity as leader, he produced propaganda. This includes the ‘Nuke London poster’ which is count one.
‘He spoke about doing a speech on how the far right will continue. He discussed spamming servers with far right memes and images. an example of the types of action he suggested on the chat include doing things to attract those who… Don’t stop at words.
‘He encouraged members online to be active, and on 23 July 2019 in the wire chat he said: “failure of activity will result in expulsion.”
‘He was responsible for setting up the group wire chat FKD GB and operated the wire account and email account.
‘He set up an account at Proton mail, an anonymous email service which allows users to register without any proof of identification.
‘The number of items on the indictment reflect the proportion of what was found on these devices, in particular manifestos from neo-Nazis who have committed mass murder, including Brenton Tarrant and “The Great Replacement.”
Paul Dunleavy was recruited into the group by the teenager and poses here in a sick heil pose
The recruit: Who was Paul Dunleavy?
Paul Dunleavy was jailed for five years for preparing for acts of terrorism after being recruited into FKD by the boy.
He also admitted nine counts of possessing terror manuals and also had videos of the New Zealand terror attack in 2019.
He expressed his extreme views in online chats and indicated he was planning or had already converted a blank firing weapon into a viable firearm.
Police found his phone had more than 90 documents on firearms, explosives and military tactics, extreme Right-wing online material and the online conversations.
Eleven clips of the Christchurch mosque attacks in March 2019 were also found on his phone together with the shooting in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019 and the attacks at Dayton, the Garlic festival and the Anders Breivik attack in Norway
A search of the boy’s bedroom – who declared his heroes as Adolf Hitler and James Mason – revealed several knives, air rifles, face coverings and camouflage face paint.
Also discovered by detectives were shotgun cartridges and bullet casings, tools and camping equipment and two makeshift cardboard targets.
A notebook was seized containing swastikas, details of lone wolf attacks as well as a mocked up logo representing an extreme-Right group he wanted to form.
‘There were live streams of the New Zealand shooting, one of which had been doctored with sound effects over the top, and he had a copy of the live streaming on his mobile phone.
‘He said “it doesn’t matter what [Tarrant] thought in terms of the nitty gritty, he actually had the guts to do something” and referred to his “high score,” a reference to the number of Tarrant’s victims, who was referred to by the defendant as an ally and a saint.
The Old Bailey heard the teenager had enlisted one of his members to make a poster of ‘an atom bomb over the Houses of Parliament’ with the ‘Nuke London’ emblazoned across the image.
He spread the vile image online among other like-minded individuals, the court heard.
‘The defendant requested that image from another member who has been charged with explosives offences in Lithuania,’ the prosecutor said.
‘His conduct betrays a maturity beyond his chronological age. it’s right to acknowledge he was acting on the guidance and supervision of someone else, the commander who was the overall leader.
‘Nevertheless he did set up the FKD GB, the UK division, and he was responsible for recruitment, vetting, and threatened expulsion for those who did not act.
‘Particularly importantly he recruited Paul Dunleavy who was convicted of terrorist offences in 2020.’
Judge Mark Dennis said he would need to consider whether the teenager had been ‘immature’ or ‘naive’ before passing sentence.
The judge said: ‘I need to assess a person of this age who sends these messages, [and] whether this is true beliefs or the product of firstly grooming but then self-aggrandisement and the other matters.’
The youth, of Cornwall, admitted 10 counts of possessing information useful to terrorism and two counts of distributing a terrorist publication.
He has been granted bail subject to stringent conditions including residing at his home and attending youth offending services along with a ban on using computers without police permission and a complete ban on using any private browsing mode, encryption software, or virtual storage devices such as the cloud.
Judge Dennis will hear defence submissions later today but will sentence the teenager on February 8.
This post was first published on DailyMail.