Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford terror suspect, 16, made 'fake bomb to show off'

Leeds Crown Court Image copyright PA
Image caption Leeds Crown Court heard the boy made a CO2 bomb and told fellow pupils he was going to carry out a school shooting

A 16-year-old boy accused of making a bomb to "kill many people" has told a court the device was fake and he had made it to show off to his friends.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of making the shrapnel-filled CO2 bomb in June 2018.

Giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court. he said he made a "prop" bomb at his grandfather's home in Bradford with some canisters from a paintballing gun.

He denies five terrorism-related offences.

The boy said the prop bomb "would look like a CO2 bomb but it was, like, an imitation."

When his barrister, Ali Naseem Bajwa QC, asked why he did this, he replied: "Just to show off to my mates.

"Like, I have a proper bomb here, even though it wouldn't be real."

The boy said he made it "off the top of my head, what I thought it would look like" and that he came up with the design because it was "something like off a movie or a game".

'Just being stupid'

He said he got bored of making the device and abandoned it before it was finished.

"If I showed my mates this in public I could be shot, or worse," he told the jury.

He admitted telling fellow pupils about carrying out a school shooting, saying he was "just being stupid".

The boy, who was referred to the government's counter-terrorism strategy Prevent in 2017, said he had lied to a worker because he wanted to keep on the programme to show off.

Jurors previously heard the teenager had praised Adolf Hitler and developed an interest in extremist far-right ideology.

Officers found two carbon dioxide canisters joined together and an assortment of nails, tacks and panel pins at his home, as well as a document containing bomb-making instructions.

Prosecutors told jurors the device could, with the addition of gunpowder and a fuse, have been a "viable CO2 bomb", of the type used "to cause maximum harm and death to civilians".

The boy denies one count of making an explosive substance with intent, one count of making an explosive substance and three counts of possession of a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The trial continues.

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