Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:35 UK

'Tartan terrorist' faces prison

Sorting Office
One of the packages was intercepted at a sorting office in Aberdeen

A self-styled "tartan terrorist" is facing a lengthy prison sentence after admitting sending shotgun cartridges and threatening letters to politicians.

Adam Busby junior, 34, from Paisley, targeted First Minister Alex Salmond and Mike Rumbles MSP as part of a postal hate campaign in March.

After sending six packages he rang journalists and said it was the work of the Scottish National Liberation Army.

In court he admitted breach of the peace charges and a firearms offence.

His father, Adam Busby senior, a former solider with the Argylls, founded the tiny cell of so called "freedom fighters" known as the Scottish National Liberation Army (SNLA) in the 1980s to resist "mass English migration".

Busby junior appeared from custody at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The court heard he sent packages to elected representatives and a local authority.

Threatening messages

They were intercepted by staff at the Royal Mail in Aberdeen and Glasgow City Council workers, who had been alerted by police.

One was addressed to Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles and contained two shotgun cartridges and a note which read: "Just because you can't see us doesn't mean we're not there. Next one's a bomb."

The second package, addressed to Glasgow City Council, contained one cartridge and the message "You are a target for death. Regards, SNLA."

Busby was caught after the calls were traced to his mobile phone and police launched an armed surveillance operation on his home in Paisley.

The court heard that at the time of the offences the 34-year-old was on bail in connection with a separate offence.

Advocate depute Neil Beardmore, prosecuting, told how journalists from a number of newspapers received anonymous phone calls on 12 March this year.

They were told six "explosive devices" had been put in the post.

Alex Salmond
The first minister was among Scottish politicians targeted by Busby

Mr Beardmore said at the time of the phone calls Busby was in the Imperial Bar in Paisley, on his own, and drinking a pint of lager.

He asked bar staff to change the TV channel so that he could watch the Scottish news.

The following day workers in the Royal Mail sorting office in Aberdeen's Wellington Circle - aware there was a "heightened threat" - found a padded envelope with Mike Rumble's name and address written in black felt-tip pen.

A scan revealed two shotgun cartridges and police were called.

The package was taken to the Royal Navy's bomb disposal unit at Gordon Barracks, said Mr Beardmore.

A similar brown envelope was found in Glasgow City Chambers' mail room addressed simply to "Glasgow City Council".


Police traced the telephone number - passed on to them as the result of one of the calls - and members of Strathclyde Police's Tactical Firearms Unit set out to arrest Busby.

In 1983 there were 27 SNLA attacks, including letter-bombs to Margaret Thatcher and the Princess of Wales.

Eight years later the organisation sent Prince William a fake anthrax bomb at St Andrews University.

Judge Lord Brailsford said the recent offences had caused "considerable concern".

He remanded Busby in custody pending sentencing next month.

Print Sponsor

'Tartan' clue on suspect packages
27 Apr 07 |  Manchester
Who are the 'tartan terrorists'?
02 Mar 02 |  UK News

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific