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Man who plotted to bomb Merseyside mosques jailed for 10 years

Man who plotted to bomb Merseyside mosques jailed for 10 years

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday May 06 2014

There was some coverage in the news on Friday, Wirral Globe, The Guardian, Manchester Evening News, Daily Mail and BBC News, on the sentencing of a Nazi sympathiser, Ian Forman, who plotted to blow up two mosques in Merseyside.

Forman, who was arrested last year and charged with engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006, was found guilty at his trial in March.

Police found evidence of Forman’s obsession with Adolf Hitler, with video footage showing him at his computer in an SS hat. Analysis of Forman’s computer hard drive and mobile phones revealed video clips showing Forman experimenting with explosives, a shopping list with prices of bomb components following internet searches and research into mosques in his local area with images of them saved on his computer. Forman also searched on Youtube for videos of ‘killing Muslims’.

Forman identified two mosques as his targets, Wirral Islamic Centre and the Penny Lane mosque in Liverpool and duly labelled them “target one” and “target two”.

Forman filmed himself wearing an SS officer's hat while playing a football game on his computer

Forman filmed himself wearing an SS officer’s hat while playing a football game on his computer

Police also found that he made an anti-Islam video on YouTube “Mosques lighting up the sky to keep us warm in the winter”.

Forman’s plotting came to light when colleagues found that he had been researching chemicals and explosive substances on the internet during work hours. Forman claimed his research was for his hobby, making home-made fireworks, but his bosses were not convinced and alerted the police.

Forman’s defence counsel, David Mason QC, said Forman was “not your average terrorist”.

He said, “Everything this man did was geared towards his hate towards the ethnic community.”

“It is consistent with someone who thought about it for a very long time but actually never stepped out of his front door to do it. He perhaps came across as someone rather pathetic, very bright, holding appalling views but not your average terrorist.”

The remarks are instructive given both the propensity of the media to report news of al-Qaida inspired terrorism to a degree that overshadows its comparable regard for far right terrorism, and for the presumption that ‘lone wolves’ are more likely to be associated with the former than the latter. Given European level analysis of terrorism threats faced in Europe, the question of what is an ‘average terrorist’ appears less informed by hard facts and more reliant on popular perceptions based on biased media output. For example, Forman’s sentencing appears as a story on page 35 of the Daily Mail today.

Forman was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court.


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