On 12 April 2018, a 25-year-old man from Banff was sentenced to life imprisonment having been convicted of contraventions of section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 and section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. It will be at least six years before he is eligible for parole.
A jury at the High Court at Edinburgh had found Connor Ward guilty of preparing to commit acts of terrorism, and collecting information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
Police officers who searched Ward’s home address had recovered hundreds of ball bearings which could be used in pipe bombs or fired from rockets. They also seized a list of the addresses of Mosques in the Aberdeen area.
Sentencing Ward to life imprisonment the judge, Lord Burns, told him if he had carried out the acts of terrorism then the results would have been “catastrophic”. His Lordship added that Ward had “reached the stage of identifying targets” and had “expressed threats against Muslims”. He described his obsession with weapons and explosives and his extreme right-wing attitudes as presenting a “serious risk to the public”.
A 43-year-old man from Prestonpans pled guilty to a contravention of section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Sheriff Michael O’Grady described the case as “concerning and unusual”. He referred to material which David Dudgeon had downloaded from the internet as being “sinister, violent and disturbing”.
Police who searched Dudgeon’s home and examined his computer recovered material of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. Included in the downloads were footage of ISIS beheadings and material relating to Holocaust denial. Also recovered was an edition of The Anarchist’s Cookbook, guides on how to make explosives and information regarding the use of biological weapons. A search of Dudgeon’s internet history showed that he had visited sites of an extreme right-wing nature
On 4 October 2019, Dudgeon was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and supervision for a further 12 months upon his release.
A 35-year-old man was sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment after being convicted of offences in terms of sections 57 and 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act 1883. Peter Morgan had also been prosecuted for preparing to commit terrorist acts under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, but the jury acquitted him of this charge.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Morgan was in possession of bomb-making manuals and equipment, as well as a selection of neo-Nazi and other extreme right-wing paraphernalia and flags.
Among the items found in his Edinburgh home were explosive substances, propellants, containers, a model rocket initiator and a large quantity of fireworks.
The search of his home also uncovered a vinegar bottle which had been modified by adhering ball bearings and nail gun cartridges to the exterior.
A forensic examination of his computer revealed that he had been viewing and downloading documents on how to make a bomb. He also had files on his computer covering topics including methods of torture, buying and transporting weapons, and guerrilla warfare. He had been active on numerous online chat rooms and forums airing his anti-Muslim beliefs.
On 16 August 2018 at the High Court in Edinburgh, Morgan was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and a further extended sentence of three years.
A 24-year-old man was sentenced to a total of 7 years and 6 months imprisonment on 2 December 2021 following a conviction for offences under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 and section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, after threatening to set fire to an Islamic Centre.
Sam Imrie posted messages to the web forum Telegram on 4 July 2019. He drove to the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes and posted images and footage showing the outside of the building.
Imrie then drove to an abandoned building in Thornton and filmed himself setting fire to the doorway, before posting the video and pretending it was an Islamic centre. He had earlier set fire to a headstone at a cemetery in Markinch, filming the blaze.
He then posted numerous messages on Telegram which glorified terrorist acts carried out by Anders Breivik and Brenton Tarrant and which contained offensive comments about Muslim and Jewish communities.
Following trial, Imrie was convicted of encouraging terrorism as well as collecting information useful to someone preparing an act of terrorism, after the manifestos of Tarrant and Breivik were found in his Glenrothes home. Imrie had also been prosecuted for preparing to commit terrorist acts under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, but the jury acquitted him of this charge.
Imrie was also found guilty of two counts of wilful fireraising, possession of indecent photographs of children and extreme pornography, and driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.
Nikolaos Karvounakis, a 35-year-old Greek national, was sentenced on 16 February 2022 to a period of 8 years 4 months imprisonment and made subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order after pleading guilty to a contravention of section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The charge related to possessing a device containing explosive material, for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.
Nikolas Karvounakis placed a device consisting of explosive material and nails contained in a cardboard box, within a shelter in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, on 11 January 2018. The device failed to detonate but significant injury could have been caused to members of the public had it done so.
The accused claimed responsibility for leaving the explosive device in Princes Street Gardens, on an eco-terrorism website, saying that he was a member of the International Terrorist Mafia. His DNA was found on adhesive tape used to make the bomb.
A 67-year-old man was sentenced to an eight-month restriction of liberty order and placed under supervision for a year at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 16 November 2021 after pleading guilty to an offence of encouraging terrorism under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
Firoz Madhani posted a number of statements to the social media site Twitter on 21 September 2019, relating to the conflict in Kashmir. In one tweet, Madhani appeared to be asking Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to attack India, adding “we are ready to kill & die”. In a later tweet he added “we will cross border and bleed them. We are human bomb”. A number of the tweets referred to “Jihad”.
Madhani was stopped at Edinburgh airport on 27 November 2019 and his phone was seized after police were alerted to his tweets.
On 20 October 2021 at Inverness Sheriff Court a 56-year-old male pled guilty to a contravention of section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, aggravated by religious and racial prejudice. The offence involved the possession of images and materials relating to bomb-making, and other terrorist material.
A search of Jon Craig’s home uncovered information about the components and instructions for making explosives, along with Neo-Nazi photographs including one of Craig posing in front of a Swastika. Images of Abu Hamza al-Masri and other radicals were also recovered.
Craig was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, to run consecutive to a 6-year sentence he was already serving for an aggravated assault.
A 22-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for an offence under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 after being found guilty of possession of articles for terrorist purposes. Gabrielle Friel had also been prosecuted for preparing to commit terrorist acts under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, but the jury acquitted him of this charge.
A search of Friel’s Edinburgh flat revealed that he had collected a crossbow, crossbow arrows, a machete and a ballistic vest. He had carried out online research into the “incel” (involuntary celibate) ideology, weapons and mass murderers, including those who had been motivated by the “incel” ideology, and had said that he could relate to such individuals.
Passing sentence at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Beckett told him: "There is no suitable alternative to a custodial sentence. It is necessary to punish you, to seek to deter you and others from acquiring articles for the purposes of terrorism."