United Kingdom

Boy, 15, accused of running an extremist right-wing group online

Two teenagers accused of sharing pictures of Adolf Hitler and New Zealand mosque killer Brenton Tarrant on a far-right chat group have denied ‘actively encouraging’ terrorist activities. 

A 15-year-old boy is accused of setting up the group on Telegram, an encrypted chat platform, as well as possessing the 'Anarchy Cookbook Version 2000', a terrorist publication with instructions for making explosives devices. 

The second boy, aged 16, who also cannot be named due to his age, is charged with disseminating terrorist publication 'White Resistance Manual' by sharing it via a link on the chat on August 28 2020. 

Prosecutors claim the 15-year-old, who suffers from severe ADHD and autism, allegedly set up the chat where pictures of Hitler, left, and Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist, right, were shared

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the material posted through the group allegedly encouraged a third schoolboy and member of that chat to prepare an act of terrorism.

Both teenagers appeared together in court and indicated not guilty pleas during the hearing.

Defending the 15-year-old, who suffers from severe ADHD and autism, Mark Luckett said: 'The position is, this case is no longer about sharing terrorist material, this case is now about actively encouraging terrorist activities.'

Adrian Lee, defending the 16-year-old, argued his client 'did not know and had no reason to believe that the 'White Resistance Manual' he shared in the group would encourage someone to prepare an act of terrorism.

Prosecutor Lee Ingham said: 'The new charge is against [the 15-year-old] only, as the organiser of the group's channels.

'It is still based on the same fact. This does meet the grave crime criteria.'

Charges related to distributing material through a far-right-wing extremist Telegram group

Chief Magistrate Goldspring directed he would retain jurisdiction of the case but warned the youths they could be sentenced at the Crown Court.

He said: 'I am going to retain jurisdiction, but very much on the decision that it may be that the appropriate place for sentence will be the Crown Court.'

The 16-year-old, from Kent, was bailed on condition he does not access the internet except for one internet-enabled device at home, does not access the internet on a third parties' internet or media device, does not access the internet at school unless supervised by a teacher, and observes a tagged curfew from 8 pm - 6 am.

The 15-year-old, from, South Derbyshire, was remanded in custody.

They will both appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 28 June for a three-day trial.

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