Teenage neo-Nazi who plotted terror attack vowed to ‘make Jews scared again’

Mason Reynolds
Mason Reynolds, 19, was described as a 'violent anti-Semite' - ROCU/PA

A teenage neo-Nazi, who began plotting a suicide bomb attack on his local synagogue during lockdown, vowing to “make Jews scared again”, has been jailed for eight years.

Mason Reynolds, 19, who was described as a “violent anti-Semite”, built up an extensive collection of terrorist material and developed plans to target the Jewish community in his home town of Brighton.

When he was arrested, he was found with diagrams for a synagogue in Hove and had even identified one entrance that he believed would be “good for surprise attack”.

The sixth former, who lived at home with his parents, also had bomb-making manuals and shared racist and white supremacist views with other extremists online.

The court heard how he had begun exploring far-Right extremism during the Covid-19 lockdown when he was still a child and had insisted he would never have put his plans into action.

Reynolds engaged with other extremists

Reynolds had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing material likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, as well as five offences of sharing terrorist publications dating back to when he was aged 16.

He was convicted at trial of possession of an article connected with the preparation of an act of terrorism against the synagogue in Hove, East Sussex.

Winchester Crown Court heard how Reynolds had used the Telegram social media channel to engage with other extremists, posting on one occasion that he wanted to “make Jews afraid again”.

Prosecutors said the channel promoted “violent anti-Semitism, racism and white supremacism”, while glorifying past Nazis including Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler.

Naomi Parsons, prosecuting, said: “It hoped, it seems, to create neo-Nazis of the future.”

She said the motive of the channel could be encapsulated in a 14-word sentence taken from Mein Kampf which read: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Reynolds also possessed live-streamed videos of mass murder terrorist attacks including those by Brenton Tarrant in Christchurch, New Zealand; and Anders Breivik in Norway.

He posted a promotional video for the proscribed, white supremacist terrorist organisation, Atomwaffen Division, showing a man in a skull mask and combat gear shooting targets.

‘Entrenched neo-Nazi mindset’

Ms Parsons said: “Whilst preparation is described as limited, it is not absent, for Mr Reynolds had a neo-Nazi mindset and he had prepared an extensive library of manuals, explosives manuals, gun-making manuals.”

She added: “There was the potential to endanger many lives, he included references to the days when the synagogue would be busiest, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover.”

Ms Parsons continued: “He had an entrenched and violent neo-Nazi mindset and had expressed an intention to commit terrorist acts – ‘I wanna strap multiple pipe bombs to my chest and blow myself up in a synagogue’.

“He knew that those he communicated with shared that mindset.”

Reynolds showed no emotion as he was given an extended sentence made up of eight years in custody with a five-year period on licence, but there were gasps from the public gallery where his family were sitting.

The judge, Mrs Justice May, said Reynolds had a “startlingly extensive and very concerning collection” of terrorism documents.

She went on: “One only has to look at the volume and extremity in views expressed in material that was shown to the court to understand the risk you pose.”

The judge said she had taken into account that these documents were downloaded during the Covid lockdown “at a time when children were cooped up at home to spend life on their computers or phones – unable to get to school and socialise with their friends”.

But she added: “It’s the nature of your offences, the number and collecting of them against the background process. There is a serious risk of harm.”