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Man accused of mosque terror attack plot had swastikas in bedroom, court hears

Sam Imrie is accused of posting statements online suggested he planned to attack the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes.


The case was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The case was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The case was heard at the High Court in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A man on trial accused of plotting an attack on a mosque had swastikas and numbers “with extreme right-wing connotations” written on his bedroom wall, a court has heard.

Sam Imrie has been charged with posting statements on social media platform Telegram suggesting he was going to carry out an attack on the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes.

The 24-year-old has also been accused of planning to stream live footage of “an incident”.

Giving evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, DC Kevin Paterson, who works in Police Scotland’s terrorism prevention unit, said Imrie had swastikas and the numbers 14 and 88 written in chalk on his bedroom wall.

Asked about what the numbers symbolised, DC Paterson told the court: “14 is seen widely as a white supremacist number; it’s a number linked to a sentence containing 14 words about protecting white people and their children.”

He added: “Eight similarly has right wing connotations. Eight doubled becomes HH which can stand for heil Hitler.”

DC Paterson also spoke about a ring that was found in a bedroom said to be Imrie’s during a police search.

Describing the design of the ring in court, he said: “I think it’s called the Black Sun,” adding, “I’ve seen similar designs in right-wing art.”

The manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019, was found in Imrie’s bedroom.

DC Paterson was asked to read out loud a section of the document which contained offensive language towards the Muslim community.

Earlier, the court heard Imrie is said to have driven to the Fife Islamic Centre in Poplar Road, Glenrothes, where he made recordings on his phone to “carry out observations” of the area while in possession of a can of petrol.

Jurors heard that he repeatedly attempted to gain access to the centre and posted statements on Telegram that indicated he was going to carry out an attack on the building.

He is also alleged to have deliberately set fire to a doorway and entrance hall at Strathore Lodge and a headstone at St Drostan’s Cemetery, Markinch, Fife.

Jurors heard Imrie has been charged with being in possession of nunchucks, a hammer, a baseball bat, a rifle scope and multiple knives which were found in the property where Imrie is said to have lived.

Among other charges, Imrie has been accused of being in possession of neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim material and extreme pornography, including indecent images of children and an image involving a human corpse.

He was also said to have been found in possession of audio files and texts that “glorified terrorism” and works including “The Great Replacement” by Brenton Tarrant.

Imrie is also charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in July 2019.

He denies all of the nine charges against him – three of which come under the Terrorism Act.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.

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