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Far-right extremists jailed for inciting terror attacks on mosques

29th Nov 2019

Elham Asaad Buaras

Two far-right extremists who encouraged copycat terror attacks in the aftermath of the New Zealand mosque shootings have been jailed. Morgan Seales, 20, and Gabriele Longo, 26, communicated on a WhatsApp group set up shortly after the attacks in the city of Christchurch on March 15 which left 51 people dead.

The purpose of the group chat was to encourage users to emulate the accused gunman with further attacks on Muslims, Leeds Crown Court heard. Seales, from South Shields, was jailed for four years. Longo, from Crawley, West Sussex, was given a six-year term.

The court heard the pair published extreme right-wing statements encouraging terrorism on a WhatsApp group called Christian White Militia.

Within 90 minutes of joining the group, Longo was offering to post files from his online library of bomb-making instructions, which he then did the following day. When one contributor wrote, ‘let’s kill some Muslims,’ Longo replied: ‘Or Jews.’ In a separate post, Seales wrote: ‘The best time to attack a mosque is Friday prayers or a wedding. Everyone there at once.’

Counter-terror police arrested Seales, shortly after the New Zealand attacks, when suspicions were raised about his online activities. Longo was arrested the following month after he was identified from Seales’ mobile phone records.

As well as encouraging terrorism, the pair were also found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes and collecting or making a record of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism. Longo was also found guilty of disseminating terrorist publications.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said Longo was “something of an enigma” as little was known about him but he was satisfied he was “deeply radicalised.” He added: “Both of you were in danger of indoctrinating others in that group chat. There were some very young people, some as young as 14. “Your activity posed not only a threat to Muslims who were your potential victims but also a threat to everyone in our democratic society.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden who is Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: “It is apparent from the examination of both individuals’ mobile phones that they regularly participated in online chats and made postings that reflect their extreme right-wing beliefs, their beliefs developing and evolving through research and connecting with like-minded individuals.

Longo also went as far as encouraging others to carry out despicable acts under the banner of the extreme right-wing ideology. With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism.”

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