An 18-year old has been sentenced to more than 11 years in jail in the UK for planning to construct a bunker to store weapons for attacks by a far-right group.
Matthew Cronjager, 18, was the leader of the UK wing of the online neo-Nazi group Exile 393, and spoke about securing 3D-printed guns and a cash of weapons from Europe, the Independent reported.
During his trial, the court was told that he spoke about targeting “powerful Jewish figures in banks and stuff” and “classic far-right targets of blame.”
Conjager received a jail term of 11 years and four months at his Tuesday sentencing.
The court was told by the defense that the 18-year old had been “blowing hot air” in his online statements and that none of what he spoke about “seemed real.” Nonetheless, he was found guilty of planning terrorist acts.
The jury also returned a guilty verdict on charges that he spread terrorist material using an online “library” that shared extremist propaganda and advocated for attacks.
The teenager had previously entered a guilty plea to four charges of possessing information useful to a terrorist, in relation to material that contained instructions detailing how to kill people barehanded, build explosive and create firearms at home.
During the trial, the court heard that Cronjager wanted to start a “revolution” based on his far right ideology, and had volunteered to lead the British wing of a neo-Nazi group, BBC News reported.
In messages sent to an undercover officer who was pretending to be a member of an extremist messaging group, Cronjager spoke about securing 3D-printed guns.
Upon his arrest in December 2020, law enforcement confiscated a sizeable amount of material linked to an “extreme right-wing cause.”
The teenager’s lawyer Tim Forte said that Cronjager "bitterly regrets" the hurt he was responsible for. He added that his client had received “validation” from online extremist groups.
“He was immature, he was irrational, he was impulsive and he was perhaps groomed to enter the world where he sought refuge from his unhappy life,” Forte said.
Judge Mark Lucraft said in sentencing Cronjager to 11 years in prison: "In my view you are someone who played a leading role in terrorist activity where the preparations were not far advanced."