OUTRAGE: Pipe-bomb making neo Nazi teen spared jail
- Bradford 17-year-old, who hailed MP Jo Cox’s murderer a ‘f***ing legend’ walks free from court despite making explosive pipe-bomb in bedroom
- Jury clears him of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism
- He was handed a three-year Youth Rehabilitation Order despite having Nazi memorabilia and Swastika flags in his bedroom
Readers of Asian Express have voiced their anger and confusion on why this teenager was spared a tougher sentence from the court and have questioned that if it had been a Muslim youngster, would the verdict have been much harsher?
The recent sparing of a Nazi-obsessed teenager from a prison sentence, despite him making an explosive device in his Bradford bedroom, has caused outrage across social media.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, walked free from court on Friday 27th January, after being convicted of making or possessing explosives, following a two-week trial at Leeds Crown Court. He was handed a three-year Youth Rehabilitation Order.
Readers of Asian Express have voiced their anger and confusion on why this teenager was spared a tougher sentence from the court and have questioned that if it had been a Muslim youngster, would the verdict have been much harsher.
The white supremacist teen lived in a room covered with Swastika Nazi flags and other neo-Nazi memorabilia, and across social media had openly praised MP Jo Cox’s killer Thomas Mair – hailing him a hero.
The teen had also shared images of mosques being blown up with the words: ‘It’s time to enact retribution upon the Muslim filth.’
The young man posted a photo of the pipe bomb he made carrying the caption: 'Incendiary explosive and home made black powder. More to come.'
After being alerted to the "disturbing messages" officers found the defendant’s bedroom in Bradford swamped with Swastika flags on 26th July last year.
Along with the pipe bomb which he made using 19 grammes of pyrotechnic materials, police also found a laptop with wallpaper featuring a Nazi eagle over a swastika, and the Nazi phrase ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer’ – ‘One Nation, One Empire, One Leader.’
During the trial, the court heard how he had embarked on a journey, which led him to discover National Socialism – aka Nazism – at the beginning of 2016.
After this, the teen became associated with National Action, which became a proscribed terrorist group in December 2016, which was described in court as "a small, secretive neo-Nazi British youth nationalist organisation."
But the teenager claimed he never intended to use the pipe bomb, saying he was just ‘fooling around’ to see if he could get a reaction out of people.
As the teen had already served the equivalent of a 14-month-long sentence on remand, he was giving him a Youth Rehabilitation Order with a number of stipulations – including an internet ban.
Ishtiaq Ahmed from Sharing Voices in Bradford gives an EXCLUSIVE insight
If the teenager had been of a different ethnic background or a Muslim would the outcome have been different; and would the media have reported this story with much more zeal and spin?
“There is a growing sense of unease in the Muslim community after the recent trial of a white Bradford teenager who though convicted of making a pipe bomb, was not charged under terrorism laws.
“Despite the white teenager confessing that he still held Nazi views and a member of the “secretive neo-Nazi group National Action”, he received only a three-year youth rehabilitation order.
“Astonishingly, he was able to free to walk out of the court.
“The Jury obviously believed that he never intended to use the pipe bomb for terrorist activity."
“So how come there was very little media coverage on this case?
“Not one mainstream media outlet covered this story as a headline including `Bradford's local daily', nor did they label or describe the defendant as a terrorist suspect. He was constantly termed as a ‘Nazi obsessed Teenager.’
“Many would ask the question that if the teenager been of a different ethnic background or a Muslim, would the outcome have been different; and would the media have reported this story with much more zeal and spin?
“The answer sadly would be 'yes'; in the subconscious minds of the masses there is a general acceptance that white people cannot be terrorists.
“Critically, the right wing media shapes public opinion and covers realities by their censorship.
“The mass mainstream media are used as the most important weapon. There is a connection between the role of media and post-modernity. It shapes the world how we see it. This rhetoric has regrettably seeped.
“Unfortunately the script has become more and more familiar: An ideologically driven Muslim or foreigner does something violent and horrific, and they are dubbed a terrorist. An ideologically driven white person does something violent, and the media and western political leaders consistently avoid the term.
“This rhetoric has found its way into all our institutions including our Criminal Justice System and has almost normalised Islamophobia.
“In majority cases, the mainstream press talks and writes about Muslims in ways that would not be acceptable if the reference were to Jewish, Black or fundamentalist Christians.
“Media can argue that they are simply following the lead of law enforcement officials, who are evidently calling the act a hate crime. But for journalists, the decision to avoid discussing this kind of violence in the context of terrorism is a political one.”