Skip to main content Accessibility
The Intelligence Report is the SPLC's award-winning magazine. Subscribe here for a print copy.

Once Again, The Turner Diaries Inspires Bloodshed

David Copeland sentenced for London nail bombing spree. Copeland told police that he was inspired by The Turner Diaries.

A man who took a page from America's leading neo-Nazi in waging a campaign of terror in Britain has been given six life sentences.

David Copeland, a 24-year-old engineer, received one life sentence each for his 1999 nail-bomb attacks in London's mostly black area of Brixton, the Bangladeshi community of Brick Lane and the gay quarter of Soho, and three more for the murder of three persons who were relaxing at Soho's Admiral Pub when the final blast went off.

In addition to those killed, 139 people were wounded by the bombings — many losing eyes and limbs. Before being captured by police, Copeland had planned to plant one bomb each week targeting Asians and gays.

Copeland told police that he was inspired — as so many right-wing American terrorists have been — by The Turner Diaries, a race war novel by William Pierce, head of America's neo-Nazi National Alliance.

He also drew on propaganda from the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, based in Idaho, and told officials that he sought to emulate accused American clinic bomber Eric Rudolph.

Copeland showed no remorse during the trial. It was his "destiny" to commit the crimes, he said, and he'd plant more bombs if he were released. The jury rejected Copeland's insanity defense, prompting London newspapers to declare that he was "bad, not mad."