THE Imam at an Islamic centre has welcomed the conviction of two Torquay men who plotted a hate campaign against Muslims.
John Michael Roddy, aged 20, and Tobias Daniel Ruth, 18, styled themselves as Knights Templar and studied the crimes of Norweigian mass murderer Anders Breivik.
The pair were initially arrested earlier this year following an incident in Lymington Road, Torquay, during which houses were evacuated and local roads cordoned off.
Roddy, from Lymington Road, was charged with an offence under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (collecting or making a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism), conspiracy to send malicious messages and conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
Roddy's laptop contained an 'al-Qaeda training manual' and Breivik's '2083 A European Declaration of Independence'.
Ruth, from Morgan Road in Torquay, was also charged with conspiracy to send malicious messages and conspiracy to cause criminal damage.
The pair pleaded guilty to their crimes at Exeter Crown Court and sentencing has been adjourned.
Imam Mohammed Ezzeldin, from the Torbay Islamic Centre, which has about 100 members including many foreign students during the summer months, said it was good to hear that the two white supremacists had been convicted.
He added: "We never had too many problems in the past. It is a good thing that the law has been upheld.
"Hopefully everything will be ok in the future so we can all live in peace together."
The pair were initially arrested on January 3.
Following their court appearance, Detective Inspector Costa Nassaris said: "The two defendants were arrested following good work by local police teams which subsequently led to a thorough investigation by the Major Crime Team and the successful outcome.
"The police worked closely with other agencies to ensure any risk was dealt with at the time. Although one of the offences is under the Terrorism Act it is important to maintain a perspective on this and I can reassure people that there was not an immediate risk of serious harm to the general public.
"The two men referred to themselves as Knights Templar and demonstrated an extreme right wing ideology with a particular hatred of Islam but in reality they were not part of a wider more organised group.
"The letters sent to the mosques caused particular distress and I am glad we are now able to reassure those victims that the offenders have been dealt with. The police will deal robustly with any attempts to spread religious discord within our community."
Sentencing has been adjourned until September 20.