Man admits making homemade pomegranates to prepare for ‘the apocalypse’
Scott Porter of West Sussex, UK, pleaded guilty to possession of explosive devices, particularly hand-made paintball grenades, which he said he built in anticipation of the apocalypse.
For years, doomsday-minded people around the world, often referred to as survivalists or “preppers,” have taken extreme measures to prepare for potential disasters. And, for much of that time, the notion was often dismissed as unnecessary at best and crazy at worst.
While this particular incident involving Porter took place in 2019, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the case resonates deeply with the current climate. “Preparedness” has flourished in the wake of the pandemic, as the need to prepare for unprecedented and unexpected disasters feels, for many, more urgent than ever.
According to BBC News, authorities discovered a stockpile of weapons as well as hand-made explosives during a raid on Porter’s house in Haywards Heath in 2019. Specifically, authorities discovered crossbows, knives and brass knuckles in addition to the paintball grenades, which had been filled with metal, chili powder and shards of glass.
In addition, he had three notebooks containing “terrorism-related material”, the British counterterrorism unit said in a press release.
The 44-year-old admitted to the offenses on Tuesday, explaining to officials that he had made the grenades in the event of a doomsday scenario. His conviction is scheduled for the end of October.
Explaining the seriousness of his charges, Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), issued the following statement: “While Porter does not have a specific ideology, the information he wrote , researched and designed could have been useful to a terrorist intending to carry out an attack. “
“His actions were reckless and the weight of the evidence against him left Porter with no choice but to plead guilty to these serious charges. [offenses]”, added Barnes.
However, despite the dangers associated with possessing explosives, authorities do not believe Porter posed a terrorist threat to his community. Sussex Police Detective Superintendent Justina Beeken said: “We have worked closely with the South East Counter Terrorism Police to support their investigation and are confident there was no specific risk to the community local.”
News week contacted Sussex Police for further comment.
While building homemade explosives is an extreme example of what is known as “readiness,” the broader practice has been increasingly accepted in the aftermath of the lockdown.
explained social geographer Bradley Garrett, author of Bunker: Building for the end of time, per BBC News: “I saw a sort of insatiable desire for self-reliance and security in this age of uncertainty.”
He added that “preppers” vary widely in terms of age, location and political affiliation. “It was interesting for me to see how culturally and politically diverse they were,” he said. “It was strangely one of the few communities we find today that is truly non-partisan.”