White supremacist who planned mosque attack in Scotland jailed for seven years

Sam Imrie was convicted of terrorism offences [Photo: Police Scotland]

A white nationalist who glorified Adolf Hitler, encouraged terrorism, and planned to attack a mosque in Scotland has been jailed by the High Court in Glasgow for seven and a half years on Thursday.

Following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in October, Sam Imrie, 24, was convicted of eight charges that include two charges under separate Terrorism Acts.

Imrie 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.

He was also added to the sex offenders register for 10 years after police discovered extreme pornography in his possession.

Imrie was also accused of planning an attack on the Islamic Centre Glenrothes in Fife, however, he was cleared of those charges.

Sentencing Imrie, Lord Mulholland said: “You were spreading hate and encouraging others to take terrorist action. Your conduct was despicable. You have no understanding or self-awareness of the hate you sought to spread.

“Many Muslims died fighting for the alliance in World War Two for the freedoms that you enjoyed.

“Walk around any city, town or village and you will quickly find memorials to people of this country who gave their lives defending the freedoms you enjoy. I hope you take advantage of your time in custody to remove the hatred from your heart.

“What is clear from this case is that Sam Imrie was influenced online by the actions of others across the world and, by stating his own intentions, posed a significant threat to wider society,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, head of Police Scotland’s Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Unit.

“His actions clearly could have encouraged other people with similar beliefs and intentions to carry out acts with potentially catastrophic consequences, not just in Scotland, but anywhere in the world.

“This sentencing further highlights that there is no place for hate crime in Scotland and that it will not be tolerated in any form by Police Scotland.”

Representing Imrie, Jim Keegan QC, said that Imrie showed a “substantial lack of maturity”.

He said: “Your Lordship has heard the accused giving evidence and his own acknowledgement that his behaviour was inappropriate.”

Imrie had a photo of Hitler as a screensaver on his personal computer. He also made Islamophobic and antisemitic comments against Muslim and Jewish communities respectively. The charges stated that he did all this to encourage terrorism.

A serious crime prevention order for five years has also been imposed on him. This time will start on the day of his release. The conviction also includes that he will be subjected to terrorism notification requirements for 15 years.

The Court heard that his computer password was N**gerkiller. Jurors also heard that the bedroom and wardrobe of Imrie were marked with swastikas.

His mother Joyce Imrie had described him as a “loner” and a “recluse”, the court heard.

In her statement to police on the day after Imrie’s arrest, Ms Imrie said: “I would describe him as a loner who very rarely leaves his room. He has no friends, no visitors to the house, no girlfriend that I’m aware of.”

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 the Christchurch killer, Brenton Tarrant, as “Saint Tarrant”. Officers also found child pornography and extreme porn that showed sexual acts being performed on dead mutilated women.

Police also found a huge number of hate images and memes on his computer which glorified Nazism and far-right terrorist attacks. Police also discovered a huge cache of arms including a combat knife, nunchucks, a hammer, an axe, a black-handled knife and a riflescope from his house.

Similarly, two copies of Mein Kampf, written by 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 Hitler addressing a large crowd.

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