A 21-year-old white supremacist who became part of an extremist online group has been given a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of terrorism offences.
Ben John, of Addison Drive in Lincoln, was found 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 by a jury on August 12.
He was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, at Leicester Crown Court after the jury voted unanimously to find him guilty. He was, however, cleared of six other counts of the same offence.
John, studying criminology and psychology at De Montfort University in Leicester at the time of his arrest, had become part of the Extreme Right Wing online, a group of activists who seemingly commit criminal activity which is politically or culturally motivated.
The group’s viewpoints encompass racism, extreme nationalism, fascism and Neo Nazism.
As well as this, forensic computer investigators found a hard drive in his possession, containing a radical publication called the Anarchy Cookbook 2000, which contains diagrams and guides on how to create explosive devices.
There were over 67,000 documents found in bulk downloads on Ben John’s hard drive, containing a wealth of white supremacist and anti-Semitic content, and some with links to Satanic organisations.
When police officers searched his home, one of the hard drives was found stuffed inside a sock in his bedroom.
The judge at Leicester Crown Court said that this was John’s “last chance” while commending the investigation team.
Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands (CTP EM) Detective Inspector James Manning led the investigation in partnership with regional and national agencies.
He said: “This was a young man who could be anyone’s son, studying at university, and living one life in public, while conducting another in private.
“He possessed a wealth of national socialist and anti-Semitic material which indicated a fascination and belief in a white supremacist ideology along with support for an extreme satanic group which is increasingly of concern for law enforcement agencies.
“The terrorist material he was found in possession of is extremely dangerous, and he acquired this to further his ideology. It indicates the threat that he and other followers of this hateful ideology pose to national security.
“It was not light reading, or material most would concern themselves with for legitimate reasons. This has been a long and complex investigation over the course of 11 months.”