'Burnley BNP Bombers' Update
A FORMER British National Party election candidate and a dentist face trial today accused of conspiring to cause an explosion.
Robert Cottage (49), of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Jackson (62), of Trent Road, Nelson, are charged under the Explosive Substances Act 1883 after chemical components were allegedly found at Cottage's house in September. Both men deny conspiracy to cause an explosion with intent to harm life or property and possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. Cottage stood for the BNP in May's local elections in Colne last year. The trial at Manchester Crown Court is expected to last up to 10 days.
This story was picked up by several bloggers last year ,although the MSM seemed to miss it. I chased the BBC, C4 news and the Mirror, at the time, who all said, ooops, they'd be on it at trial stage. I'll check, and chase again if necessary. UPDATE: One of the men has pleased guilty. The media are on it.
UPDATE AGAIN: Blimey. Conspiraloon-tastic. BBC News
Ex-BNP man 'wanted to shoot PM'
A former British National Party (BNP) candidate who held explosive chemicals in anticipation of a civil war wanted to shoot Tony Blair, a court heard.
Robert Cottage, 49, from Colne, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to possession of explosives at the start of his trial at Manchester Crown Court.
His wife said he often boasted of wanting to shoot Mr Blair and Lib Dem peer Lord Greaves, the court was told.
Mr Cottage denies conspiracy to cause an explosion.
A second man, David Jackson, 62, of Nelson, Lancashire, denies both charges under the Explosive Substances Act.
Alistair Webster QC, defending, said Mr Cottage, of Talbot Street, was a former BNP candidate and had been the subject of threats.
He explained that his client believed the "political and financial condition of the country" would lead to civil war within the coming years.
Mr Cottage accepted the possession charge on the basis that the explosives were designed to deter attacks on his property, Mr Webster said.
The explanation was not accepted by the prosecution.
Louise Blackwell, prosecuting , said the case had come to light after Mr Cottage's wife became increasingly concerned about his behaviour. Kerena Cottage suffered mental health problems and told her social worker that her husband had several crossbows and chemicals stored in his home.
She also revealed he wanted to shoot Mr Blair and local peer Lord Greaves, Miss Blackwell told the court.
When police raided his house on 28 September 2006 they discovered 21 types of chemicals which, when combined, could form explosives.
Miss Blackwell said they also uncovered a document called the Anarchy Cookbook, which detailed how to make different types of bombs.
Ball bearings - which the prosecution claim could be used as shrapnel for explosive devices - were also found, along with four air pistols.
After interviewing Mr Cottage, detectives raided Mr Jackson's home on 1 October and found a bow and arrow and two nuclear protection suits.
Miss Blackwell said: "The prosecution say these two men together agreed to order these chemicals... and they intended to make a bomb with them.
"The bomb they intended to make would have had the ability to cause damage or cause serious injuries."
Miss Blackwell also read out a statement on behalf of Mrs Cottage, who was unfit to attend court because of her mental health problems.
"Rob believes there will be a civil war and the emergence of a new world order," the statement said.
"Rob has also started stockpiling supplies," the statement added.
The trial continues
It certainly ticks all the right boxes as a news story...big haul of explosives found, links to extreme organisations, political terror, sinister plots...eek...etc. The only missing ingredient is that the men were English extremists, not Islamist extremists. Should this make a difference? No, it absolutely should not. I am glad the story is now being belatedly covered. I expect it to be headline news in the tabloids tomorrow, and hmm, we seem to be missing another key ingredient of a typical terror tale...
...Dr. John Reid popped up and pontificated several times last year when similar stories about conspiracy to cause explosions/acts of terrorism broke, talking about the deadly threat and the need for constant vigilance. You could hardly get hom off the telly. The Home Secretary has been strangely quiet this time around. I wonder why? Answers on a postcard...
Also of interest: Forest Gate fallout - a BBC investigation. See BBC news tonight.
UPDATE ( again) : Iain Dale ( posted soon after this post went up). For the avoidance of conspiraloonery, I chased several news outfits up about why they missed it the first time around, speaking to people I know personally, and they all explained why, and they all came out with pretty much the same reasons about how they missed it, and the reasons made sense to me. (I chased the BBC Online team, the Sunday Times, and the Mirror just to get a general spread of broadhseet, tabloid, weekly/daily and TV.) Today I spoke to C4 news, the Mirror and the Sunday Times. All of them were already on it. It was on BBC lunchtime news, and it's on the 5pm BBC news now, it's also on the Telegraph online as the lead story. So I do not think there is a media conspiracy; I believe them when they say they cocked up and missed it. Bloggers should be proud of themselves for forcing the issue, though, as several people I spoke to said they were aware they had missed a trick and the blogs got on it much more thoroughly than the MSM, and one said he picked up on it via blogs. Well done blogs. Especially Ministry of Truth who I think got there first...Another UPDATE: Blairwatch is on it with some thoughts
I am still very interested as to why the Home Office is not making its usual song and dance, however. Perhaps they haven't got any eye-catching initiatives or 90 day internment packages to push today...