A 17-year-old self-described neo-Nazi has been jailed for over five years for preparing acts of terrorism after researching how to turn a blank-firing gun into a live weapon.
Paul Dunleavy – who can now be named in the public’s interest – claimed he was “a nine to 10” on a scale of extremism, with “full-on Nazi Hitler” as a 10.
The Rugby boy gave advice to other neo-Nazi members of a chat group, part of the banned terror group Feuerkrieg Division (FKD), and was the administrator of another called the League of Nationalists.
One of the recipients of Mr Dunleavy’s advice later planted a bomb, according to the Express and Star.
The Warwickshire resident’s online remarks, including antisemitic and racist slurs, were recorded by an undercover officer.
Knives, bullet casings, shotgun cartridges and a home-made gun stock were among items found in the teenager’s bedroom, along with sketches of swastikas.
Mr Dunleavy had posted online that he wanted to build a gun capable of “smashing heads” and had praised the New Zealand gunman who killed 51 attendees of a mosque last year.
Birmingham Crown Court convicted him of preparing acts of terror last month.
Sentencing Mr Dunleavy on Friday, Judge Paul Farrer QC said the boy’s autism had led to “an obsessional interest in firearms”, but described his efforts to commit an act of terror as ultimately “inept”.
He added: “You knew you were communicating with extreme right-wing individuals who harboured terrorist intentions.
“In these circumstances you repeatedly offered practical advice on the construction of improvised firearms.”
In July last year, Mr Dunleavy told the undercover officer he was “100 per cent serious” about converting the blank-firing pistol he owned.
Despite showing an abundance of “bravado and exaggeration”, Judge Farrer commented that there was still a real risk his encouragements would put lives in danger.
Mr Dunleavy was also handed two years’ detention for possessing terrorist documents, to run concurrently to his other convictions.
Head of West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, said: “This boy had an unhealthy interest in other attacks across the world and he knew exactly what online platforms to join to share his extreme views.
“He believed he had the skills to convert a blank firing weapon into a viable firearm and was willing to help others with his abilities."