'˜Neo nazi' Connor Ward convicted of plotting terror attacks

An '˜exemplary neo nazi' who acquired components for potential bombs and who kept a list of Scottish mosque addresses is behind bars tonight after being convicted of planning terror attacks.
Connor Ward. Picture: Police ScotlandConnor Ward. Picture: Police Scotland
Connor Ward. Picture: Police Scotland

Connor Ward, 25, acquired hundreds of ball bearings which could be used in pipe bombs.

He also obtained rocket tubes which could be used to fire projectiles.

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The High Court in Edinburgh heard how he acquired an arms cache which included a stun gun, hundreds of knuckle dusters, knives and metal bars.

Ward, who was previously jailed for three years in 2012 for possessing an explosive substance, also acquired a number of deactivated bullets.

The court heard the ammunition could have been reactivated for use in a firearm.

Police discovered the lethal horde after receiving a tip off that Ward had broken strict firearms legislation by buying a stun gun from abroad.

Detectives who searched Ward’s home in Banff, Aberdeenshire, also found that he had acquired a mobile phone signal jamming device and a machine for picking up hidden bugs.

And they also discovered that Ward had downloaded tens of thousands of documents from the Internet on firearms and survival techniques. The files also contained extreme right wing propaganda and military tactics.

Detectives found a Google Maps style file containing the postal addresses of five Islamic places of worship in the Aberdeen area on Ward’s computer.

They also found that Ward, who told jurors that he thought Hitler had made mistakes, had started to compose a book called “Combat 18 British Mosque Address Book”.

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The court heard that Combat 18 is the name of an extreme British right wing paramilitary group.

The court heard how in the title page of the book, the accused had written a dedication which read: “This book is dedicated to all that follow Mohammed and the Islamic faith.

“You will all soon suffer your demise.”

This prompted the police to fear that Ward was set to launch terrorism attacks.

Ward, a former psychiatric patient, claimed he was suffering from mental illness at the time he downloaded the documents.

He said that he acquired the files because he believed the world was going to end in 2012 and he wanted to survive the apocalypse.

But on Tuesday, jurors refused to believe Ward’s claims and returned verdicts of guilty to two charges of breaching the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism Act 2006.

Their verdicts came on the fifth week of proceedings against him.

The first charge which Ward was convicted of stated that between 26 February, 2011, and 21 November, 2014, he did “with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, engage in conduct in preparation of said acts”.

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The second charge stated that on the same date, Ward did “collect or make a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.

Lord Burns thanked the jurors for their service during the five week long trial.

Ward is expected to be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow on April 11 2018.