Loughborough teenager 'planned school and mosque terror attacks'

Court drawing The boy, now 17, denies terrorism offences

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A teenage boy armed with guns and explosives planned to emulate the Columbine massacre by attacking his former school, jurors have heard.

The boy, who was 16 at the time, also listed several other targets in Leicestershire, including a mosque, college, cinema and university.

The 17-year-old, from Loughborough, denies terrorism offences.

He and two other 17-year-olds have admitted possessing petrol bombs and component parts of pipe bombs.

Opening the case at the Old Bailey, Max Hill QC said the jury must consider whether the boy was a "misfit" or "something altogether more sinister and serious".

"Is that child's play? Is it harmless? Or is it something more sinister?" he said.

A Che Guevara notebook emblazoned with Nazi swastikas and English Defence League (EDL) mottos were found when his home was searched by police in February, the jury was told.

The notebook included drawings showing how he would arm himself and discussed tactics to carry out "the New Columbine", the court heard.

In 1999 two students killed 12 pupils and a teacher in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Dark Knight poster

Links to various far-right groups and anti-Islamic writings were found, the jury was told.

Mr Hill said the boy claimed to be a member of an EDL branch and had a Nazi swastika on his bedroom wall along with a poster of the Joker from the Batman film, the Dark Knight.

A number of homemade videos shown to the jury were allegedly filmed by the boy and his two friends as they tested a type of explosive called a Molotov cocktail.

The boys identified themselves as the URA - Urban Revolutionary Army - and could be seen throwing the explosives against a building wall, Mr Hill said.

The court was told counter-terrorism officers found a cache of items, including partially assembled petrol bombs, a quantity of part-assembled pipe bombs, other partially constructed improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a stab-proof vest and a number of air, blank and BB guns.

The boy, who has Asperger's syndrome, denies possessing articles for for the purpose, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism and possessing a document or record containing information likely to be useful for a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, namely The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook.

He also denies another charge of possessing parts for an improvised explosive device.

None of the teenagers can be named for legal reasons.

The trial continues.

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