Teenager ‘enraged by global warming’ plotted terror attacks, court hears

Jacob Graham, 19, was motivated by ‘hatred and contempt’ for the Government, Manchester Crown Court heard
Jacob Graham, 19, was motivated by ‘hatred and contempt’ for the Government, Manchester Crown Court heard - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A teenager inspired by the Unabomber plotted a gun and bomb terror campaign after becoming enraged by the “destruction of forests, global warming and climate change”, a court heard.

Jacob Graham, 19, was motivated by a “hatred and contempt” for the Government, who “oppressed working class people”, and planned to kill at least 50 in a series of attacks.

Manchester Crown Court heard Mr Graham plotted the atrocities after becoming “tired of living in a society that was deteriorating and destroying itself”.

Mr Graham, who described himself online as “Destro” or “Destro the Destroyer”, modelled himself on the American terrorist bomber Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, the court heard.

The teenager denies eight terror charges including the preparation of terrorist acts between May 2022 and May 2023 and the possession and sharing of documents and materials likely to be useful to those committing terrorist acts.

The court heard that he had not finalised his plans when he was arrested in May 2023 and had not selected any targets but said his “Judgment Day” would be within three to five years.

‘Bring about the downfall of society’

Annabel Darlow, KC, prosecuting, told the court on Thursday: “He wished to attack and bring about the downfall of government and society.

“He was anti the concept of government. He expressed the view that he was sick and tired of living in a society that was deteriorating and destroying itself.

“His grievances were motivated both by hatred of the government and ecological concerns. He points to pollution, destruction of forests, climate change, global warming, famine and the exploitation of natural resources for minerals and gas.”

‘Motivated by hatred for the Government’

She added: “He was motivated by a hatred and contempt for the Government, whom he perceived as tyrannical, oppressive of those he termed ‘working class’ people and whom he also appeared to blame for much that was unsatisfactory in his own life.”

The jury was told that Mr Graham had made 105 videos outlining his plans which he intended to post online as he launched his attack.

He also wrote a document entitled “my letter”, which further set out his hatred of the Government and his ideology.

‘Any more killed would be a blessing’

The letter outlined his intention to “attack government buildings, politicians’ houses and to commit mass murder on those who think it is OK to hide their wrongdoings behind money and power.”

Ms Darlow said that by May 2022 Mr Graham had begun plotting his attacks.

“He stated that he intended to start a bombing campaign and would end his bombing spree by carrying out a shooting with an FGC9 MkII, a gun that could be made using a 3D printer.

“Graham expressed the aim of killing and injuring at least 50 people and said that any more than this number would be ‘a blessing’.

Over the next year, the court heard, Mr Graham “worked to try to bring his deadly plans closer to fruition”.

The jury was told that he acquired the information needed to construct bombs, firearms and ammunition, and he also sourced and obtained chemicals and a 3D printer.

Ms Darlow said that Mr Graham, a student at Hugh Baird College in Liverpool, was arrested on 26 May 2023 at his home address in Norris Green, Liverpool

She said that police found a number of chemicals each of which could be used as ingredients in various explosive mixtures.

Officers also found a 3D printer, which had the potential to be used to print parts of home-made firearms and which had been a Christmas present.

Various devices contained a huge number of files containing instructions and information on the manufacture of lethal firearms, ammunition, explosive devices and poisons.

The court heard Mr Graham bought various chemicals and hid some in a tube which he buried in Formby woods in Merseyside.

Ms Darlow said he wrote a document entitled “Freedom Encyclopaedia”,  which was filled with instructions on how to build weapons, including shotguns, and nail bombs.

There were lists of explosives, gunpowder, plastic explosive as well as ignition devices and instructions on how the perpetrators might evade the police.

The trial continues.

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