Cambridge graduate who spoke of ‘killing Jews’ jailed over bomb-making manual

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Cambridge graduate who spoke of ‘killing Jews’ jailed over bomb-making manual

Police found a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook when they searched the home of Oliver Bel, who came to attention when he was reported for antisemitic comments

Lady Justice (Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash)
Lady Justice (Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash)

A Cambridge maths graduate with an “extreme right-wing mindset” has been jailed for two years for possessing a bomb-making instructional manual.

Police found a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook when they searched the home of Oliver Bel, 24, in November 2019.

Last month he was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of collecting information likely to be useful to a terrorist after a jury rejected his defence that he had a reasonable excuse as he claimed he used it for academic research.

Bel must serve an extended licence period of 12 months when he is released from custody.

He came to the attention of the authorities in January 2019 while studying at Pembroke College when a member of the public reported his antisemitic comments made in a Facebook group in which he also defended Adolf Hitler.

Meetings with a counter-terrorism officer from the Government’s Prevent programme followed but Bel was not deterred as analysis of his mobile phone later seized by police revealed a Facebook post in July 2019 about wanting to “go on a spree”, which was reported by his tutor.

His phone communications also showed comments he made the previous year online such as “I just want to go on a killing spree”, “I hate Jews… Just kill them all”, and “Kill all n*****”, the court heard.

Police searched his then home in Salford just days after anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate published an article in which they revealed Bel’s Nazi sympathies, the court was told.

Sentencing on Friday, Judge Alan Conrad QC told Bel: “A great deal of evidence showed your extreme right-wing mindset in terms of your communications and alliances with others of similar mind. Your pronouncements were abhorrent to all right-thinking people.

“I emphasise that I am not punishing you for your political views which, however repellent, were views that you are entitled to hold, provided that the line into criminality is not crossed. I observe, however, that it is profoundly dispiriting to see a young man such as yourself blessed with high intelligence whose heart is filled with so much hatred for all manner of people who have done you no harm and who pose no threat to you.”

Bel, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2016 but the judge noted he believed it is “something upon which you play when it suits you”.

He said the author of the defendant’s pre-sentence report was concerned Bel appeared to have a “complete lack of understanding” of the seriousness of his actions or the risks posed by his ongoing association with extremism.

Judge Conrad said he was assessed in the report as posing a high risk of serious harm to the public.

He told him: “The real worry in your case was that your conduct might have the effect of encouraging others of extreme mindset to take an extreme course.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: