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Investigation leads to man being jailed for encouragement of terrorism

An investigation into a man who described a mass killer as a ‘hero’ and shared harrowing footage of a terrorist attack has led to him being convicted of and jailed for encouragement of terrorism.

 

On Friday 7 June 2024 a 44 year old man, from Leicestershire, was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment for one count of encouragement of terrorism and of two counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication. 

 

He sent videos to people of the terrorist attack, which was committed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019 and resulted in the killing of 51 people, stating he would “love” to do what the perpetrator of the attacks did. He also stated that he would “like” to go on a killing spree and talked about different people he would like to kill and various weapons.

 

The offences by this man were committed between November 2021 and June 2022. Following an investigation, a warrant was executed in June 2022 which saw him arrested at his home.

 

He admitted being the user of various social media profiles but mostly answered ‘no comment’ in interview. In a later interview he said sending the video around was wrong, that he had shared it with a few close friends and that he had been going through a bad time in his life during the Covid pandemic.

 

The Prosecution’s case did not allege that the man was planning any specific attack but that he had an extreme mindset and was reckless about whether his actions would encourage others to commit terrorist acts.

 

DI Glynn Jehu said: “Fifty one people lost their lives in the Christchurch attacks. Spreading messages of extreme hate and violence in the way that this man did is dangerous, reckless and could easily have encouraged others to commit an act of terrorism.

 

“It was therefore important that we stopped this by acting on information received, investigating the communications fully and bringing him before the courts."

 

Read more here.

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