Student anarchist guilty of terror offences after plotting to kill politicians

Jacob Graham, 20, compiled a shared a bomb manual aimed at targeting politicians.

Words by Duncan Gardham

A left-wing anarchist has been found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism by compiling and sharing a bomb-making manual, after declaring that he wanted to kill at least 50 politicians.

Jacob Graham, 20, dedicated his manual, called the "Freedom Encyclopedia", to "terrorists past and future, anarchists etc" and buried bomb-making chemicals in a secret woodland hide.

He wrote a document called "My Plan" in which he said he wanted to kill at least 50 people by attacking government buildings and politicians' houses. "I will be a homegrown terrorist because I was born on British soil," he said in one video.

He made 138 videos, to be released on the day of an attack, in which he demonstrated explosives and talked about "Judgement Day" and "standing up for working class people."

On the wall in his bedroom Graham had printed out a picture of a car bomb exploding with the words: "Make politicians afraid to start their cars again."

Graham, a computer science student from Norris Green, Liverpool, used the name "Destro the Destroyer" and communicated with like-minded extremists using gaming platform Discord.

On another platform called Telegram, he exchanged messages with others who shared his hatred of government in groups called Earth Militia, Total Earth Liberation and Neo Luddite Action.

Graham told police he was "left wing" but “more like an anarchist" adding: "I don't like the idea of a central control and I don't really like the monarchy."

His ideal government would be the size of "Merseyside or Liverpool", he said, adding that he supported the Green Party and was an "environmentalist" who did not like the way that "corporations act and how they damage the earth."

"I think it is fair to say I was quite anti-government," Graham told his trial. "I didn't agree with the idea of it - the way certain things were handled, the pandemic, the cost of living.

Graham kept chemicals for makeshift explosives and even built his own pipe bomb in his back garden,

"I didn't agree with a group of small people being able to make decisions that affect a mass."

The court heard that Graham came to idolise an American terrorist called Theodore Kaczynski - known as the Unabomber - after watching a Netflix series called Manhunt, and pledged to "finish what he started."

From a remote cabin in Montana, Kaczynski carried out a 17-year mail bombing campaign, in which he targeted technology academics at universities, killing three people and injuring 23.

Graham bought a number of chemicals on the internet and conducted experiments in his back garden before burying some of the ingredients in Formby woods, recording the location so he could return to the cache.

He also had all the computer files necessary to make a 3D printed assault rifle called an FGC9 MkII and the printer on which to make it.

In the document, headed "My Plan," which Graham started in May 2022, he stated that he was planning a bombing campaign that would end in a shooting spree using the FGC9.

"I am going to attack government buildings, politicians [sic] houses, mass murder those who think it is ok to hide their wrong doings behind money and power but you cannot hide from me. I am aiming for at least 50 deceased and more injured. Any more is a blessing," he wrote.

"I have constant anger, I am a ticking timebomb. I am not sorry for nothing."

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Graham, who lived with his mother, sister and sister's boyfriend, made video diaries in which he recorded himself wearing a headset and speaking into the camera from his bedroom, with a teddy bear on the bed behind him.

Wearing a t-shirt and glasses, he said at one point: "I've got everything I need to start my revolution."

In a video on June 21, Graham took out a machete with a red handle and tapped the blade, saying: "Can't end my life yet, I have so much carnage to commit."

In another video made in his bedroom on August 9, Graham, stated: "If terrorism is standing up for what you think is right, standing up for the working class people of this country, most of us can’t afford to heat our homes or afford food, there needs to be someone to fix this problem. It is my responsibility to do this."

"I will be a homegrown terrorist because I was born on British soil. If they want to call me a justice warrior or a hero, call me that. If they want to call me scum, call me that because I won't be here to listen to all of it."

In another video he threatened to attack Hugh Baird College, which he attended, saying: I'm f**king ready, f**king bring it, I don't care, I'll kill every single last one of them."

Graham had downloaded a compendium of terrorist publications including the Mujahideen Handbook and the White Resistance Manual, which he stored in a folder called "Alexandria" after the fabled ancient library.

He talked about building a bomb using an ISIS instructional video which showed how to make a bomb similar to that used in the Manchester Arena bombings, containing the homemade explosive TATP.

Graham made 138 videos, to be released on the day of an attack, in which he demonstrated explosives and talked about "Judgement Day".

Graham's "Freedom Encyclopedia" included instructions on how to build a pipe bomb, gunpowder and plastic explosives, along with detonators and instructions on how the perpetrators could evade the police.

Annabel Darlow KC, prosecuting told the jury: "The mindset of Mr Graham permeates throughout his written material, messages, and homemade videos diaries."

When Graham was arrested on May 26 last year, police found a number of chemicals, each of which could be used as ingredients in various explosive mixtures.

Graham told his trial he felt like a character in a James Bond or Mission Impossible film or the Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic TV show.

He said he was "doomsday prepping" for "some sort of possible invasion, civil war, martial law, natural disasters, solar flares, floods, things like that."

The jury at Manchester Crown Court acquitted Graham of planning a terrorist attack but found him guilty of preparing acts of terrorism by writing the Freedom Encyclopedia, and of disseminating terrorist publications and possession of documents useful for terrorism.

He will be sentenced in March.

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