Former security guard from Glasgow jailed for terrorism charge
A former security guard’s communications with neo-Nazi extremists were uncovered after an online chat group was infiltrated by an undercover counter-terrorism officer.
Within days of joining the group, James Farrell shared a video with detailed instructions on how to construct a 3D-printed, homemade, automatic weapon.
Farrell, 32, of Priesthill, Glasgow, was yesterday sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment at the High Court in Glasgow.
He had pled guilty to a breach of the 2006 Terrorism Act at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday 9 February 2023.
Firearms experts told prosecutors the gun, a Mac-11 machine pistol, could be capable of firing live bullets if properly assembled using the correct pieces.
On October 21, 2021, Scottish police, acting on intelligence from English colleagues, arrested Farrell following a search of his house which unearthed the haul of anti-Semitic and extreme right-wing books.
Farrell’s conviction followed a successful cross-border operation involving counter-terrorism officers in the north-east of England, Scottish Police and Crown Office prosecutors, which enabled them to skilfully piece together his activities inside the Oaken Hearth Chat group.
Farrell came to the attention of Scottish police after an English officer secretly gained access to the group, which used the Telegram online messaging app to exchange terror manuals and share racist ideology.
He then alerted colleagues north of the border when it became clear Farrell, a first offender who used the screen name JABZ, was from Scotland.
Laura Buchan, procurator fiscal for Specialist Casework, welcomed the sentence and said it highlighted the importance of multi-agency support in helping to achieve a successful prosecution.
She said: “This case illustrates the value of partnerships between key agencies to deliver justice.
“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has a duty to keep the people of Scotland safe from harm and, working with police, government and other agencies, we are committed to ensuring that those involved in committing offences under terrorism legislation are brought to justice.”
The court heard how members of the cell discussed terrorist atrocities, including mass shootings at two mosques New Zealand in March 2019.
They sifted through messages in which father-of-three Farrell declared his support for white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people at the two mosques in Christchurch.
He also praised neo-Nazi Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people during a gun rampage in Norway in 2012, and Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Members of the closed group frequently posted anti-Semitic propaganda in support of Adolf Hitler.
Farrell joined the group on 11 March 2021, and within 13 minutes had shared a photograph of extreme right-wing books.
A week after being admitted into the group, there was a discussion about 3D-printed firearms.
The next day, Farrell shared a 75-second video on how to build a DIY sub-machine gun with people of the same extreme mindset. The post included a list of tools needed, the materials required as well as tips on how to fit each part.
Four people from the group have already been convicted of offences in England under the Terrorism Act and during their trial and it was heard they exchanged terror manuals, shared racist ideology and posted videos of atrocities.