Teenager ‘glorified’ EDL leader

A teenager accused of planning a repeat of the Columbine massacre at a school in the East Midlands “glorified” the leader of the English Defence League (EDL), a court has heard.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is on trial accused of stockpiling weapons for a terror attack on his former school in Loughborough.

His sixth- form college, a local mosque, Loughborough University, a cinema and council offices were also named as potential targets, it is alleged.

A manager of a local clothes shop regularly visited by the defendant said the alleged terror plotter had spoken in the store about former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, who resigned from the far-right group on Tuesday.

In a witness statement read to the Old Bailey jury, the manager said the teenager also tried to order a T-shirt with a “German SS” badge.

“He talked about Tommy Robinson who I have heard of but I don’t know who he is,” he said.

“I didn’t want to talk about this kind of thing.

“I think he was glorifying Tommy Robinson, whoever he was.

“He also tried to order a Death Skull T-shirt.

“This is a large German SS badge that would be worn on the collar.

“This is not an item that the shop would stock or be associated with.

“I told him it wasn’t something we would stock.”

The teenager allegedly wrote in a Che Guevara notebook emblazoned with Swastikas his plans for The New Columbine, the Old Bailey has previously heard.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 in one of America’s worst mass shootings.

In another incident, a schoolboy told police the defendant threatened him with a knife after a confrontation outside a shop.

In a police interview played to the court, the boy said the defendant, wearing a “black cape”, black shoes and black trousers, swore at him and his friend in the street as they played a game.

After they confronted him, the teenager pulled out a knife, the boy said.

“I thought I was going to die,” he said.

“I wanted to cry.”

The boy, who cannot be named, said he was “skimmed” by the weapon as he crouched down to pick up his scooter.

“It looked really sharp,” he told police.

“He was aggressive, he wanted to do it.”

The defendant, who has Asperger’s syndrome, denies a charge of possessing items for the purpose, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism.

They include nine partially assembled petrol bombs, a quantity of commercial firework powder, a quantity of part-assembled pipe bombs, partially constructed improvised explosive devices (IEDs), quantities of commercial pyrotechnic fuse cords, a stab proof vest, a gas mask, three 0.22 air rifles, one Olympic 0.22 blank-firing pistol and a quantity of ammunition, one 0.22 air pistol, three BB guns, a black military belt containing air gun pellets and a silver cartridge, and one note book containing information about the planning and construction of explosive devices, it is alleged.

The boy also denies one count of possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful for a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, and a further count of possessing explosives in the form of component parts of IEDs.

The teenager and two other 17-year-old boys have already pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing petrol bombs and component parts of pipe bombs for the use of explosive devices.

The defendant, dressed in a black T-shirt and wearing glasses, has been sitting in the dock with an intermediary throughout the court proceedings.

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