White nationalist who planned to attack Scottish mosque convicted of terrorism

Sam Imrie

A self-proclaimed white nationalist from Fife in Scotland who idealised the Christchurch mosque mass murderer Brenton Tarrant is facing a lengthy prison sentence for terrorism offences.

Sam Imrie, 24, was arrested in 2019 from his Glenrothes home after police discovered that he had posted on a messaging application about his plans to attack Fife Islamic Centre.

During a search at his house police discovered a huge cache of arms including a combat knife, nunchucks, a hammer, an axe, a black handled knife and a rifle scope.

Lisa Gillespie QC said the officers also seized a copy of the “Great Replacement”, a manifesto written by far right-terrorist Brenton Tarrant who murdered 51 worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks in March 2019.

A manifesto by Anders Breivik, another far-right terrorist who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011, was also recovered from Imrie’s house during the search.

He referred to Breivik as “the saviour of Europe” and Tarrant as “Saint Tarrant.” Officers also found child pornography and extreme porn that showed sexual acts being performed on dead mutilated women.

The High Court in Edinburgh convicted Imrie of a terrorism charge for making statements on social media which encouraged acts of terrorism. He was also convicted for glorifying terrorist acts such as Christchurch attacks.

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The court was informed that Imrie left school at 14 after he was subjected to bullying and had developed PTSD. He started hating Muslims after consuming right wing content from websites such as 8Chan and social media.

Edinburgh High Court. Editorial credit: chrisdorney

He also possessed a video which the Christchurch mosque attacker had made of himself shooting worshippers, and had posted online: “All my heroes are mass murderers.”

In one of his posts, Imrie wished for Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s death. He wrote: “The SNP party wants millions of Muslims to come in so I obviously want Sturgeon to die.”

The Metropolitan Police had infiltrated a group on a messaging app where Imrie would post his hateful content. The Scottish police was notified and Imrie was taken into custody.

Police also found a huge number of hate images and memes on his computer which glorified Nazism and far-right terrorist attacks.

Similarly, two copies of Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler, were found on his computer. Police also found a file named “heroes” which contained images of Dylann Roof, a terrorist who killed nine African-American worshippers in a U.S. church.

His bio on Facebook read: “Seeing Muslims suffer” while his cover photo was an image of Adolf Hitler addressing a large crowd.

In one of the messages on Telegraph he wrote: “No guns. All I can do is burn them down,” in reference to his plans to burn down Islamic Centre. The police found a CCTV footage of Imrie trying the door at the Islamic Centre.

He told the court that his comment about burning the mosque was a “joke” and he wasn’t serious about it.

Although Lord Mulholland remanded him in custody, Ms Gillespie said the Crown were considering imposing a serious crime prevention order. Imrie was also placed on Sex Offenders Register.

Lord Mulholland said to Imrie: “Be under no illusion – you have been convicted of very serious offences including gathering information about terrorism and encouraging terrorism, child pornography and extreme pornography. You will not be surprised to know that you will be receiving a sentence of some length.”

Pat Campbell, Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable for Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence, said: “Sam Imrie was a socially-isolated-individual who displayed hateful intentions and the potential consequences of his actions do not bear thinking about. Police Scotland welcomes the outcome of the trial, which brings to a close what was an extremely complex investigation.”

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