Three men charged over far-right terror plot allegedly involving 3D-printed gun

<span>The three men appeared at Westminster magistrates court.</span><span>Photograph: Jordan Pettitt/PA</span>
The three men appeared at Westminster magistrates court.Photograph: Jordan Pettitt/PA

Three men have appeared in court accused of a far-right terror plot in which they allegedly used a 3D printer to produce a semi-automatic firearm and identified targets including an Islamic education centre in Leeds.

The men appeared at Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday and made it clear through their solicitors that they denied the charges of preparing for an act of terrorism.

Counter-terrorism officers arrested the suspects on 20 February at addresses in the Midlands and northern England.

They are Christopher Ringrose, 33, from Cannock in Staffordshire; Brogan Stewart, 24, from Wakefield; and Marco Pitzettu, also 24, from Derby.

The prosecutor, Mark Luckett, said police searches of addresses linked to the men had found items including knives, a crossbow and neo-Nazi and other allegedly far-right materials.

Luckett said that during a video call there had been a discussion of plans to attack an Islamic education centre in Leeds and other “human targets”.

He said police had found a 3D-printed FGC-9 semi-automatic firearm, a 3D printer and instructions on how to make 3D-printed firearms at Ringrose’s home.

The three men appeared via video link and spoke to confirm their names, dates of birth and addresses.

The judge, Louisa Ciecióra, remanded them into custody.

They will appear at the Old Bailey in London on 15 March.

Before the court hearing, counter-terrorism police said in a statement: “The three men were arrested on Tuesday 20 February from their home addresses under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 as part of a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation. Seven-day warrants of further detention were granted on Wednesday.

“Searches were carried out at their home addresses as part of the investigation.”

The terrorism threat for the UK is at “substantial”.