Britain's youngest terrorist spared custody after leading neo-Nazi cell

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
The teenager has been sentenced at the Old Bailey in London. (PA/Crown Prosecution Service)
The teenager has been sentenced at the Old Bailey in London. (PA/Crown Prosecution Service)

Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist, who led a neo-Nazi group from his grandmother’s house, has avoided custody.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gathered terror material, shared far-right ideology in online chatrooms, and possessed explosives instructions when he was 13.

The material included information about napalm, Molotov cocktails, how to build an AK-47 assault rifle and knife combat.

He ultimately became leader of the British cell of the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD), a neo-Nazi group that idolises people like mass murderer Anders Breivik.

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A photo of the teenager, who was given a 24-month youth rehabilitation order. (PA/Crown Prosecution Service)
A photo of the teenager, who was given a 24-month youth rehabilitation order. (PA/Crown Prosecution Service)

The teen was given a 24-month youth rehabilitation order on Monday. He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possessing terrorist material and two of dissemination of terrorist documents at a previous hearing.

Judge Mark Dennis QC said the boy had “entered an online world of wicked prejudice” and would get into a “spiral of ever lengthening terms of incarceration” if he reoffended.

He said: “The wider picture revealed in this case – the actions, words and mindset of teenagers – is deeply concerning.”

The judge said a custodial sentence could undo ongoing work to rehabilitate the boy, who he described as “vulnerable” and having had an “abnormal childhood”.

The Old Bailey heard the youth, from south-east Cornwall, amassed a significant amount of material between October 2018 and July 2019.

He was also active online, expressing racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views.

He became the British FKD cell leader in 2019. It is a proscribed group described as preferring action over words and encouraging “lone wolf” attacks.

The court heard the defendant would liaise with the 13-year-old FKD “commander” in Estonia and was responsible for vetting and recruiting members and propaganda.

Among his five recruits was Paul Dunleavy, a teenager who was convicted in relation to his activities as an FKD member in 2019. The two talked about acquiring firearms, the court was told.

Paul Dunleavy, one of the teen's recruits, has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court for preparing act of neo-Nazi terrorism. (PA/West Midlands Police)
Paul Dunleavy, one of the teen's recruits, has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court for preparing act of neo-Nazi terrorism. (PA/West Midlands Police)

The 14-year-old cell leader also commissioned a “Nuke London” poster with an atom bomb cloud over the Houses of Parliament with the slogan: “Sterilise the cesspit that you call London”.

A police raid on his home in July 2019 found information suggesting he was trying to make a weapon, and although none was found, officers came across a Nazi flag and a neo-Nazi text depicting post-apocalyptic sadistic violence.

“1488”, a Nazi symbol, was also painted on the garden shed.

The court heard the teenager denied harbouring racist views, said he wanted to “look cool” online and claimed he was considering leaving FKD, though the prosecution rejected this.

On Monday, the court heard he used technology to try to conceal his identity.

The judge took into account his guilty plea and expression of remorse and said he was “susceptible to the influence others”.

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