A neo nazi who acquired components for potential bombs and who kept a list of North-east mosque addresses is behind bars today after being convicted of planning terror attacks.
Connor Ward, 25, from Banff, had denied breaching the Terrorism Act and faced trial at the High Court in Edinburgh charged with conduct which showed his intention to commit acts of terrorism.
The court heard how the fascist acquired an arms cache which included a stun gun, hundreds of knuckle dusters, knives and metal bars.
Ward, who was previously jailed for three years in 2012 for possessing an explosive substance, also acquired a number of deactivated bullets.
The court heard the ammo could have been reactivated for use in a firearm.
Ward, a former psychiatric patient, claimed he was suffering from mental illness at the time he downloaded the documents.
He said that he acquired the files because he believed the world was going to end in 2012 and he wanted to survive the apocalypse.
But today, jurors refused to believe Ward’s claims and returned verdicts of guilty to two charges of breaching the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism Act 2006.
Ward is expected to be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on April 11.
Detective Chief Superintendent Gerry Mclean, of Police Scotland’s Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit, said: “Following Ward’s arrest a vast amount of material was seized by officers who invested a significant amount of time into quantifying the scale of Ward’s interest in terrorism. Although he operated alone, the weapons, manuals and downloads he possessed had the potential to cause serious harm.
“While we may never know the full extent of Ward’s intentions thanks to the early intervention of police, we do know that we cannot underestimate the dangerous nature of any behaviour or activity linked to terrorism. These acts are very rare, not least in the North-east of Scotland, and while concerted action takes place every day alongside our partners to protect the public it is crucial that communities remain vigilant.
“Terrorist-related activity will not be tolerated in any form and if you are intent on trying to harm our communities let me be very clear that we will do everything in our power to stop you. This conviction today demonstrates that Police Scotland is committed to supporting and reassuring our communities and would continue to ask the public to work with us by letting us know any concerns or suspicions they have. No piece of information is ever considered too small or insignificant.”