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Student jailed for 13 years over terror guide for ‘misfits and nobodies’

Student jailed for 13 years over terror guide for ‘misfits and nobodies’

A college student who wrote a “how-to” terror guide on weapons and bombs dedicated to “misfits” and “social nobodies” has been jailed for 13 years.

Jacob Graham, 20, whose “idol” was US terrorist Theodore Kaczynski – the “Unabomber”, also spoke of feeling wronged by his college and going on a “rampage”, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Bespectacled Graham, using the name “Destro the Destroyer”, recorded dozens of video messages from the back bedroom of his mother’s home where he lived in Norris Green, Liverpool, sending numerous manuals and giving instructions on weapons, explosives and poisons.

A student at Hugh Baird College in Bootle, he also blamed the Government for his “unsatisfactory” life, the court heard.

He was found guilty by a jury last month following a five-week trial at Manchester Crown Court of one count of the preparation of terrorist acts, four counts of possession of information for terrorist purposes and two of dissemination of a terrorist publication, between May 2022 and May 2023.

Graham was cleared of one count of preparation of terrorist acts.

Prosecutors alleged that while he was not about to commit a terrorist act or encourage others to do so, he did assist other extremists he communicated with online.

Mr Justice Goose jailed the defendant for 13 years with a five-year extended licence. He must also notify police of his whereabouts for 30 years, the judge ordered.

Passing sentence, he said Graham appeared to be an “ordinary young man, with an interest in fireworks, military and outdoor pursuits”.

Jacob Graham court case
Jacob Graham’s house, in Norris Green, Liverpool (GMP/PA)

But he added: “In reality, you are a dangerous young man, you described yourself as the first UK home-grown terrorist.

“You searched the internet for information and files that explained how to make explosives, weapons and ammunition.

“You offered yourself as a very knowledgeable and experienced terrorist.

“I am satisfied, you are a dangerous offender.

“There is significant risk to members of the public of serious harm by you committing serious, specified terrorist offences.”

Graham showed no reaction, but as he left the dock to go down to the cells, he smiled at his mother in the public gallery, who had burst into tears as he was jailed.

Jurors heard Graham was motivated by a hatred and contempt for the Government, whom he perceived as tyrannical and oppressive of those he termed “working class” people.

Jacob Graham court case
An image of improvised firearm shown in the trial of Jacob Graham (GMP/PA)

He has above average intelligence and regarded himself as a leader, his probation report concluded.

He acquired a large number of instructions needed to construct bombs, firearms and ammunition – and sourced and obtained chemicals as well as a 3D printer.

He also carried out chemical experiments, the court heard.

After he was arrested on May 26 last year, police found a number of chemicals, each of which could be used as ingredients in various explosive mixtures, jurors heard.

Also found was a 3D printer, which had the potential to be used to print parts of home-made firearms, including the carbine FGC-9 MKII.

Police also found an “online arsenal” of information on his computer devices, including on the manufacture of deadly weapons and explosives, many of which could be made at home with basic skills and using materials or ingredients that could be gotten hold of relatively easily.

He wrote a guide he titled the Freedom Encyclopaedia, which was dedicated to “misfits, social nobodies, anarchists, terrorists (future and present) who wants to fight for freedom… against the Government”.

The guide, written between September and December 2022, goes on to explain in detail how to make weapons, explosives, fuses, pipe bombs, gunpowder, nail and car bombs.

Graham claimed his activities were merely “escapism and fantasy” and told police he just had a “strange hobby.”

Frida Hussain KC, defending, cited the “impact of lockdown” and said Graham was aged only 18 or 19 when he offended, within his own home, and there was no clear ideological, political or religious motivation to his terror offences.

“At the time he was going through a difficult period in his life,” she added.