A white supremacist with “deep-rooted anti-Semitic beliefs” pleaded guilty to arson and terrorism charges, as video from an incident a year ago clearly showed him pouring gas and lighting a fire in an attempt to burn down a synagogue.
Tristan Morgan, 51, was caught on camera pouring gas into the Exeter Synagogue on July 21, 2018, according to a report from the Mirror. After he poured the gas into the building through an open window, Morgan then lit a piece of paper on fire, and threw it in as well.
A blast of flames came out at Morgan through the opening, the video shows. As he walks away, he patted his head, which was still singed, laughing as he entered his vehicle parked a few feet away, witnesses told the judge.
The attack coincided with a Jewish feast day commemorating the Holocaust, CNN reported.
Morgan was sectioned under the Mental Health Act at London’s Old Bailey on Friday. The court heard arguments suggesting he was having a psychotic episode during the attack.
Morgan also published a bigoted song to his Soundcloud account around the time of the incident, titled “White Man.”
Anti-Semitic hate crimes and other incidents are on the rise in the UK, according to reporting from the BBC. A Jewish nonprofit organization called the Community Security Trust, which tracks instances of hate, found there were 1,652 incidents in 2018, the highest number the group has ever reported since it first began tracking data in 1984.
Their count matches a Home Office report of hate crimes in England and Wales, which showed from October 2017 through October 2018 that such crimes rose by 17 percent over that time.
Hate crimes and other acts of bigotry have gotten so bad in the UK that children with darker complexions have reportedly begun “lightening” their skin, per a report from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, in attempts to avoid racist and bigoted behaviors from others. An average of 29 hate crimes and incidents occur against children per day in Britain, a separate report from CNN detailed.
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