North-east ter­ror­ist to ap­peal sen­tence

Man planned to bomb city mosques

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - FRONT PAGE - BY BEN HENDRY

A Neo-Nazi serv­ing life im­pris­on­ment for plot­ting ter­ror­ist at­tacks on mosques will next week ar­gue his sen­tence should be re­duced.

Con­nor Ward, from Banff, was jailed ear­lier this year but has lodged an ap­peal against his con­vic­tion and the sever­ity of the sen­tence.

He will ar­gue his case be­fore a judge in Ed­in­burgh next Thurs­day.

The 25-year-old was caught with a cache of weapons and bomb-mak­ing equip­ment, as well as a map of all the mosques in Aberdeen.

Ward had pre­vi­ously sparked a bomb scare af­ter threat­en­ing to blow him­self and his fa­ther up, and had pledged to usher in the “demise” of Is­lam.

He de­nied breach­ing the Ter­ror­ism Act, but was found guilty fol­low­ing a trial in March.

In April, he was jailed for life and told he would have to serve at least six years be­fore be­ing el­i­gi­ble for pa­role.

His ex­ten­sive ar­se­nal of weapons in­cluded ball bear­ings, which could have been used in pipe bombs and in rocket tubes ca­pa­ble of fir­ing the pro­jec­tiles.

Ward told the court he bought the metal balls on Ama­zon so he could hunt rab­bits but that claim was dis­missed by judge Lord Burns.

The judge said Ward “formed an in­ten­tion” to use the bear­ings to at­tack mosques.

He said: “You had cho­sen a method of in­flict­ing dam­age to that tar­get and any­one in it, as demon­strated by the pur­chase of ball bear­ings and tubes to put them in.

“You had ex­plored means by which you might dis­guise your­self in or­der to per­pe­trate this act and avoid de­tec­tion.”

Lord Burns added it was clear Ward was “deeply com­mit­ted” to Neo-Nazi ide­ol­ogy and that if his threats were car­ried out it would have had “catastrophic re­sults”.

He said: “This in­volved a high level of re­search and plan­ning as shown by the vast col­lec­tion of man­u­als for the man­u­fac­ture of IEDs at home.”

Iman Ibrahim Al­wawi of the Aberdeen Mosque and Is­lamic Cen­tre de­scribed it as “very sad” Ward had de­stroyed his life due to “mis­in­for­ma­tion and pro­mo­tion of non­tol­er­ance”.

He said: “We pro­mote tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing for all and pray that all com­mu­ni­ties in Aberdeen can come to­gether in unity and help each other as fel­low hu­man be­ings.”

At the Court of Crim­i­nal Ap­peal in Ed­in­burgh yes­ter­day, a date was fixed for the ap­peal next week.

Con­nor Ward

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.