Police investigating an Aberdeen man accused of terrorism offences found a video giving details of a “highly toxic” chemical on an IT device said to belong to him, a court has heard.
Detective Inspector James Nicholson told a jury on Wednesday how he helped assess media on electronic devices which had been received from 29-year-old Richard Smith.
Jurors at the High Court in Edinburgh were shown items that had been examined by the Police Scotland officer.
They were played a short excerpt of a video in which the title screen read “Hydrazine is very, very toxic.”
During the clip, a narrator with an American accent says: “Pure Hydrazine is explosive, volatile, and highly toxic.”
The evidence emerged during proceedings against Smith, of King Street, Aberdeen. He denies terrorism and other charges.
Jury shown media found on IT devices
On Wednesday, jurors were also shown other pieces of media found on IT devices.
They saw a file which was entitled “Field Manual of the White Army” and the “White Resistance Manual” – which had chapters about “firearms”, “explosives”, “selected assassinations” and “poisons”.
Another file shown to the jurors was entitled “Mujahideen Poisons Handbook”.
The jury were also shown a file which appeared to be written by a US government department called the Bureau for Alcohol Tobacco which was called “Letters and Package Bomb Detection Guide”.
When prosecutor Liam Ewing QC asked DI Nicholson why somebody interested in committing an act of terrorism might want such a file, the police officer replied: “It may give them insight into detection and how they can avoid detection.”
Prosecutors claim that these were “namely homemade explosive substances” and powders and chemicals, which could be used to make “explosive substances”.
It’s alleged that the substances could “cause or aid in causing an explosion,” and that it could give rise to “a reasonable suspicion” that he didn’t have the substances in his possession for a “lawful object”.
Accused denies charges
In relation to this charge, the Crown claims that Smith breached the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
The second charge alleges that between August 9 in 2018 and November 13 in 2019 at various locations in Scotland, Smith collected or made a “record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.
It’s also claimed he had information which promoted “anti-Muslim, neo-Nazi and other racist causes” and that he created, downloaded “computer files”, “video files” and “picture files” on IT devices and CD and DVD discs and that this breached the Terrorism Act 2000.
The third charge alleges that between August 9 2018 and November 13 2019 at locations in Aberdeen, Smith possessed “a quantity of materials capable of being used in the manufacture of explosive substances” and possessed “a quantity of materials capable of causing or aiding an explosion.”
The final charge alleges that on November 4 2019 at Kittybrewster Police Office in Aberdeeen, Smith assaulted Detective Sergeant Bruce Buntain by pushing him on the body.
The trial, before judge Lord Mulholland, continues on Monday.
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