UK neo-Nazi found guilty of glorifying terror acts against Muslims

Sam Imrie, who revered Anders Breivik and the Christchurch killer Brenton Tarrant, pretended to set fire to a mosque

epa07447506 A muslim worshipper prays at a makeshift memorial near the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Rd in Christchurch, New Zealand, 19 March 2019. A gunman killed 50 worshippers and injured 50 more at the Al Noor Masjid and Linwood Masjid on 15 March, 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, has appeared in court on 16 March and charged with murder.  EPA/MICK TSIKAS  AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

A British neo-Nazi who idolised far-right mass murderers has been found guilty of terrorism offences after glorifying acts against Muslims.

Police apprehended Sam Imrie, 24, after he posted messages on social media claiming he was planning to set fire to the Fife Islamic Centre in Scotland.

In reality, he set fire to a different venue but pretended it was a mosque.

A search of his social media posts on Telegram and Facebook resulted in the discovery of a number of statements he had made which glorified terrorist acts by mass murderers Brenton Tarrant and Anders Breivik. Tarrant killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019 and Breivik killed 69 people on the Norwegian island of Utoya in 2011.

Imrie, of Fife, was convicted following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh of eight of the nine charges he faced, including two under the Terrorism Act.

He was also convicted of possessing extreme pornography, including indecent images of children and an image involving a human corpse, wilful fire raising, and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

The court heard he set fire to a derelict lodge on July 4, 2019, and on the same day set some headstones ablaze at St Drostans Cemetery in Markinch.

Giving evidence, his mother Joyce Imrie said he told her: “Mum, I’ve done something really stupid, I pretended to set a mosque on fire.”

Imrie claimed he was trying to gain approval from neo-Nazis on Telegram.

Judge Lord Mulholland has adjourned sentencing for background reports.

“You will be receiving a sentence of some length when you appear at Glasgow on November 24,” he said.

During the trial the court heard that Imrie’s bedroom was adorned with swastikas.

On Monday his defence advocate Jim Keegan QC told the court his client started to go off the rails at the age of 14 after he was attacked in a park and found it hard to attend school.

Imrie took to drinking vodka and missing classes, eventually becoming a recluse.

From playing violent video games such as Call Of Duty he then began posting on far-right websites from his bedroom.

He became fascinated by the Nazis and his screensaver showed an image of Adolf Hitler addressing a Nuremberg rally.

Following his conviction, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Pat Campbell urged people concerned about anyone displaying extremist views, or signs of being radicalised or involvement in terrorist activity, to contact police.

“Sam Imrie was a socially isolated individual who displayed hateful intentions and the potential consequences of his actions do not bear thinking about,” he said.

“It should be stressed that cases such as Imrie’s are rare in Scotland and our officers remain absolutely committed to working with our partners to protect our communities.”

Updated: October 28th 2021, 10:38 AM