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Finnish neo-Nazis convicted in 'race war' terror plot using 3D printed guns

FILE: Four 3D printed machine guns seized by Finnish Police in terror plot
FILE: Four 3D printed machine guns seized by Finnish Police in terror plot Copyright Finnish Police
Copyright Finnish Police
By David Mac Dougall with AP
Published on Updated
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Prosecutors showed in court how the men planned to use 3D semi-automatic printed guns to launch the attacks on ethnic and religious minorities, key infrastructure and political opponents.

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A court in Finland has convicted three neo-Nazis for committing crimes with terrorist intent, including plotting attacks against migrants, critical infrastructure and their political opponents. 

Prosecutors showed in court how the men planned to use 3D semi-automatic printed guns, among other weapons, to launch the attacks.

It was a rare terror trial in the Nordic nation, where the country's domestic intelligence service Supo has warned that the main threats to security come from lone-wolf Islamist attackers, or the far-right.

A court in the city of Lahti, an hour north of the capital Helsinki, sentenced the main suspect to three years and four months on charges of aggravated firearms offenses committed with terrorist intent, as well as training to commit a terrorist act. The 29-year-old was also convicted on a drugs charge. 

The two accomplices received a sentence of one year and nine months in prison and a suspended prison sentence of seven months, respectively. They were charged with terrorism-related crimes of manufacture of firearms and training to use them.

FILE: Close of detail on Finnish police officer's uniform
FILE: Close of detail on Finnish police officer's uniformDavid Mac Dougall

Far-right ideologies

The trial also took into consideration the extent to which extreme right-wing ideology played a part in influencing the men. 

The court found that the main suspect believed in a pending race war that would lead to the collapse of society - and thought that violence against the perceived enemies of white Finns, and Finland, was justified. 

Among those believed to be enemies were immigrants, ethnic and religious minorities, anti-fascists, and social influencers, prosecutors said. 

"The district court has considered that it has been established that the purpose of the criminal activity was to cause serious fear among the population, ie the procedure took place with terrorist intent," the court stated.

The men also plotted attacks on key civilian infrastructure such as electricity grids and railroads.

A police investigation showed that the defendants’ activity didn’t progress to the level of preparation for a concrete act of terrorism.

The fourth defendant in the case, a 66-year-old man, was handed a prison sentence of one year and two months for firearm crimes that were not committed with terrorist intent.

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