Before the gay pride event was set to happen at a pub in Cumbria, England, Ethan Stables had made some disturbing Google searches, prosecutors told the court.
“I want to go on a killing spree,” “how to make chemical poison” and “what is prison like for a murderer” were among them, BBC reported. Stables, 20, also searched for instructions on how to make a bomb from matches — police found a collection of cut-off match heads in his home, the news service reported. There was also an axe and knives, a machete and a rifle, The Independent reported.
“My country is being raped,” he wrote in a messaging app, according to authorities. “I might just become a skinhead and kill people,” BBC reported.
Stables was convicted Monday of plotting a terror attack at the LGBT event.
Among the evidence shown was video of him burning a rainbow flag while saying: “Look at it, that rainbow, so much nicer when it’s on fire. It’s just like gay people. Much nicer when they’re on fire,” according to the Guardian.
The discoveries made by police came after officers spotted him walking toward The New Empire pub where the event was taking place in June 2017, The Independent reported. The venue had been surrounded by armed officers, the newspaper said.
Stables was unarmed when he was arrested, The Guardian reported.
Authorities had been alerted by a member of a far-right Facebook group who saw a message posted by Stables that said he was “going to war” and planned to “slaughter every single of the gay b*****ds,” The Independent reported.
The woman, who’d been added to the group but didn’t share Stables’ views, told police and posted screenshots of the message on social media, warning people not to go to the bar, The Independent said.
Stables, who has an autistic spectrum disorder, became radicalized after a trip to Germany to see a young woman, his mother told BBC. Stables claimed he had been “brainwashed” by right-wing extremists he met at hostels, the publication reported.
Stables told the court he was ashamed of the comments he made online and claimed he was bisexual, The Guardian reported. His lawyer described him as “lonely and inadequate,” The Independent reported.
Stables reportedly showed no reaction as he was found guilty Monday of making threats to kill and possessing explosives. He will be sentenced on Wednesday, The Guardian said.
The number of white people being arrested as terror suspects in the UK has risen over the past year, making up a third of the total number of such suspects, The Independent reported.