‘Socially-isolated’ Fife fantasist convicted on terrorism charges
A white nationalist who regarded the New Zealand mosque mass murderer Brenton Tarrant as a “hero” is facing a lengthy prison sentence for terrorism offences.
Sam Imrie, 24, was arrested after detectives discovered in July 2019 that he had posted messages on social media that he was planning to attack Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard police who searched his home in Glenrothes found Imrie had acquired knives, nunchucks, an axe, a hammer, and a telescopic rife scope.
Advocate depute Lisa Gillespie said officers also recovered a “manifesto” entitled the “Great Replacement” by far right terrorist Tarrant, who murdered 51 people in his March 2019 attacks in Christchurch.
They also recovered a manifesto by Anders Breivik who slaughtered 77 people in Norway in 2011.
Detectives also discovered computer equipment containing thousands of images glorifying far right terrorism attacks and nazi ideology.
Imrie also had a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, indecent images of children and extreme porn.
He had a video Tarrant made showing himself carrying out the shootings and was caught after a tip-off from the Metropolitan Police.
English officers had been scrutinising an instant messaging app where Imrie stated he was planning to “burn down” a mosque.
Detectives found CCTV footage of him trying the door at the Islamic Centre before driving away and armed officers later swooped on his home.
Imrie was convicted on two charges of breaching the terrorism act, wilful fire raising, possessing child and ‘extreme’ pornography and drink driving.
Ms Gillespie said the Crown were considering seeking a Serious Crime Prevention Order and Lord Mulholland remanded him in custody.
He said: “Be under no illusion - you have been convicted of very serious offences including gathering information about terrorism and encouraging terrorism, child pornography and extreme pornography.
“You will not be surprised to know that you will be receiving a sentence of some length.”
Jurors had head Imrie said he was a white nationalist who believed non-white people were “inferior” but that Chinese people were “superior”.
The first charge stated that Imrie made statements on Telegram and Facebook which encouraged acts of terrorism.
The second charge stated that Imrie made a “record of information” which would be useful to somebody who was committing acts of terrorism.
Lord Mulholland also placed Imrie on the Sex Offenders’ Register and he will be sentenced next month.
Following the conviction, Pat Campbell, Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable for Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism and Intelligence, said: “Sam Imrie was a socially-isolated-individual who displayed hateful intentions and the potential consequences of his actions do not bear thinking about.
"Police Scotland welcomes the outcome of the trial, which brings to a close what was an extremely complex investigation.
"It should be stressed that cases such as Imrie’s are rare in Scotland and our officers remain absolutely committed to working with our partners to protect our communities.”
He added: “I want to take this opportunity to appeal directly to the public that if you become aware of anyone, including a family member or friend, displaying extremist views, or are concerned that they could be radicalised or involved in extremist or terrorist activity not to hesitate to contact the police.”