A teenager from Derbyshire, whose extreme right-wing videos were cited by a man who murdered 10 people in a terrorist attack in the US, has been jailed for encouraging terrorism. The 19-year-old also tried to make a gun with a 3D printer.
He made and uploaded five videos to an online channel, between February 2021 and March 2022. In the clips, he praised the 2019 terrorist attacks in New Zealand, criticised peaceful protest, produced how-to guides and called for the death of those who work in the criminal justice system.
His clips were commented on and referenced seven times by the man who murdered ten people in a racially-motivated attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, USA, in May last year. Further evidence shows another was used on the website of a man accused of killing five people at a gay club in Colorado in November.
In December, following a trial at Manchester Crown Court, he was found guilty of five counts of encouraging terrorism (contrary to Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006) and one count of possession of material for terrorist purposes (contrary to Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000).
On Friday 27 January he was jailed for 11-and-a-half-years – with a further three years on licence.
CTP EM Detective Inspector Chris Brett said: “On the face of it, the subject presents as an unassuming, quiet young man, but scratch the surface and it’s a more sinister picture.
“While efforts were made to support him – with a referral to establish if he had been groomed, and attempts to engage with him through the Prevent programme – the extent of his views and intentions were exposed through his continued efforts to post and create online content of an extreme nature throughout.
“The threat he posed became such that we had to act in order to ensure the safety of the wider public. The level of risk was laid bare when we found evidence of an intention to create a gun from parts printed from a 3D printer, kept in a room used for storage. Granted, it was a crude attempt.
“He could see the reaction his videos were getting. This was not a one-off, this was not a game, this was a concerted effort to generate a following and influence people.”
On sentencing, Judge Field KC described him as “highly dangerous and a significant risk to members of the public”, adding that the attacks in the US were “not only appalling, but no more than what you intended others to do”.
DI Brett said: “I’d like to acknowledge the work of the investigation team, supported by colleagues at Derbyshire Constabulary and in CTP North East, on what has been an extremely challenging, but sadly not unique, investigation.
“It’s no secret that across the country we are seeing more and more young people hitting the radar of counter-terrorism police, especially those who are displaying extreme right-wing views.
“Anyone who downloads, shares or creates extreme content online risks being arrested under terrorism legislation. And don’t think you can hide behind usernames, avatars and other technical blockers, as we have teams of highly-skilled digital investigators with a track record for getting to the source.
“Today he has been made accountable for his actions. I hope his story and lengthy sentence acts as a deterrent to anyone else considering treading a similar path.”
Extremist content can be reported, anonymously, at https://www.gov.uk/report-terrorism
It can also be reported via the iREPORTit app, created by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) in partnership with the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU).
Communities defeat terrorism, and your information is vital to counter-terrorism investigations. If you think someone may be engaging in terrorist activity, trust your instincts and act by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT.
Find out more, here.