Terror accused tells court of visiting far-right websites

Sam Imrie is on trial at the High Court in EdinburghSam Imrie is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh
Sam Imrie is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh
A man accused of terror offences has told a court he visited far-right websites.

Sam Imrie, 24, is on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh for allegedly posting statements on the Telegram social media platform suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes.

He is also accused of planning to stream live footage of “an incident” and of possessing neo-Nazi, antisemitic and anti-Muslim material and child abuse images.

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Imrie, who denies the nine charges against him – three of which come under the Terrorism Act – gave evidence on Monday.

The court heard that he played violent video games such as Call Of Duty before accessing the extremist website 8Chan.

“On the boards I was going on, it was extremist, far right,” said Imrie.

He was questioned for nearly two hours by defence counsel Jim Keegan QC.

Mr Keegan said Imrie hid his browsing by signing into virtual private networks (VPNs) which hide a user’s internet protocol address.

Imrie told the court about setting a fire in a derelict building after finding the Islamic centre was closed.

He said he did not associate with many people of a different ethnic origin but his “mindset” had changed while on remand in prison after meeting black and Asian people.

Mr Keegan also questioned Imrie about downloading violent porn from 8Chan involving dead women.

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Advocate depute Lisa Gillespie QC asked Imrie why he called YouTube Jew Tube and he said it was a joke that “Jews control all this stuff”.

Ms Gillespie put it to Imrie when he was interviewed by the police he described Second World War Nazis as “cool”.

Imrie said: “It was the uniforms and the swastikas.

“It was a really historic time in Germany.”

He added: “I did not know anything about their beliefs.”

Ms Gillespie put to him: “You must have been fairly interested in the Nazis to have Adolf Hitler, addressing a rally at Nuremberg, as your screensaver and on your Facebook page.”

Imrie said that it was “just cool”.

Ms Gillespie said to him: “This morning you said that in prison you have a laugh with the black people and Asians but did they know that your Apple Mac password was “N***** Killer?”

“By July 2019 you were a committed Neo-Nazi.”

The court heard Imrie spent much time creating memes for the far-right site Fashwave.

Imrie denied the point of his memes was to glorify the mass murders carried out by Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people in New Zealand, and Norwegian killer Anders Breivik, saying “no” when Ms Gillespie suggested it.

The court also heard Imrie created a phone video driving in his car, with a can of petrol, and he was questioned whether it was inspired by one created by Tarrant just before he went on his killing spree.

Telling the court about the video, Imrie said: “To some extent I tried to replicate Tarrant’s video but not to the extent that is being made out (in court).”

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.