Man found in possession of terrorist material convicted

A man with a white supremist and neo-Nazi ideology has today been found guilty of a terrorism offence after being found in possession of terrorist instructional material.

The jury at Leicester Crown Court heard how Ben John (21), of Addison Drive, Lincoln, had become part of the Extreme Right Wing (XRW) online.

The court was told how forensic computer investigators found a hard drive in his possession containing the Anarchy Cookbook Version 2000, a radical publication originally circulated in the 70s which contains diagrams and instructions on how to construct various explosive devices, and was apparently aimed at people interested in conducting guerrilla warfare in the United States. 

The jury was also told how John had a wealth of white supremist and anti-Semitic material, as well as material related to the Satanist organisation called the Order of Nine Angles (ONA), which is increasingly under the focus of law enforcement. The Extreme Right Wing is the term for activists who commit criminal activity motivated by a political or cultural view point encompassing racism, extreme nationalism, fascism and Neo Nazism.

The jury voted unanimously to find him guilty of one count of having in his possession a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act.

The court heard how he first came to attention of Prevent officers in May 2018 after penning a letter titled ‘Eternal Front – Lincolnshire Fascist Underground’. He was arrested as part of a pre-planned operation carried out by force Special Branch officers from Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands (CTP EM) on 7 January 2020. An 11 month investigation by Lincolnshire Police’s Special Branch, with assistance from the national counter terrorism network, led to him being charged in November 2020.

The judge commended the investigation, saying that he was “highly impressed”, and said the officers who conducted it are a “credit to their force”. He added that John was to remanded into custody, saying that in his years of experience, he “sees Ben John as a risk”, and finished by addressing John directly, saying, “You are a convicted terrorist.”

John has been remanded into custody and is due to be sentenced on 31st August. He was cleared of six other counts of the same offence.

If someone has revealed to you a plan to harm others, or you know they hold information which could be used to plan or prepare for an act of terrorism, it is vital you report it as soon as possible. Suspicious activity can be reported to the police by calling confidentially on 0800 789 321 or visit act.campaign.gov.uk.

12 Aug 21 5:16 PM

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