Neo-Nazi Matthew Cronjager jailed for plotting terrorist acts

A teenage neo-Nazi who plotted to shoot an Asian friend has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Matthew Cronjager, 18, had previously been found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism.

The Old Bailey heard he had tried to get hold of a 3D-printed gun or a sawn-off shotgun to kill his target.

Judge Mark Lucraft said Cronjager, from Ingatestone, Essex, was “bright and intelligent”, which made messages he sent “all the more troubling”.

The court heard Cronjager had set himself up as the “boss” of a right-wing terror cell.

He had created an online library to share right-wing propaganda and explosives-making manuals.

His plans unravelled when an undercover police officer infiltrated a group called The British Hand on messaging platform Telegram.

The court had previously heard Cronjager wanted a “revolution” based on his fascist beliefs and had offered to lead the UK division of an extreme right-wing group.

In messages to the undercover officer, he discussed arranging a drop-off location for 3D-printed guns.

He also formulated his plot to kill his former friend, who he said had boasted of sleeping with three white women.
‘Ashamed and disgusted’

When he was arrested on 29 December 2020, police had seized a large amount of material demonstrating his commitment to an “extreme right-wing cause”.

He had attempted to claim he was a member of anti-fascist organisation, Antifa, and had infiltrated various right-wing groups to disrupt and undermine them.

During his trial he had later accepted he had held extreme far-right views, saying he now felt “ashamed and disgusted” by them.

In a victim impact statement, Cronjager’s victim said he felt “sad, hurt and betrayed”.

He said it “broke my heart” when police had told him what Cronjager had written on Telegram.

The victim was left “simmering with anger” towards Cronjager and “on the brink of self-harm”, the court was told.

In mitigation, lawyer Tim Forte said Cronjager “bitterly regrets” the harm he caused.

He had been found guilty of preparing for acts of terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications on Telegram.

He had previously admitted four charges of possessing terror documents.

Sentencing him to a total of 11 years and four months in youth detention, the judge told him: “In my view you are someone who played a leading role in terrorist activity where the preparations were not far advanced.”

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