A Kent man who, as a 17-year-old, downloaded documents on how to make plastic explosives has today (18/5) been handed a suspended prison sentence.
George Fowle, of Lucas Road, Snodland, now 20, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing material likely to be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act (2000) at a Central Criminal Court hearing.
After being stopped at Heathrow Airport ahead of boarding a flight to the United States of America in June 2019, Fowle was arrested and his devices seized.
An investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) established that Fowle had downloaded documents containing instructions on how to make plastic explosives.
A phone was also found with a video of the Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand, along with over 400 images of far right figures and emblems, social media posts admitting he ‘admired’ far right figures such as Adolf Hitler and videos of himself draped in the St. George’s flag loading an air rifle and a handgun.
He had also searched the internet for ‘ Black Market Guns’ and ‘Download Blueprints for Homemade Guns/HomeBuildPlan’.
In addition, investigators found a number of postcards containing offensive slogans about religion, race and gender at his home, and further examples of Fowle’s interest in explosives, firearms and mass casualty incidents in public places, such as schools.
He was sentenced to 20 months’ detention and supervision, suspended for 24 months, for each count (concurrent), 120 hours’ unpaid work and 60 months’ probation.
Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of CTPSE, said: “Although 17 at the time, there is no doubt that Fowle has demonstrated the mind-set of a right wing terrorist, and given his interest in mass casualty incidents and his research into explosives, it’s vital that he has been convicted.
“All varieties of extremist ideology have the potential to threaten public safety and security, and we are committed to tackling all forms of terrorism to keep our communities in the south east safe. I’d like to thank everyone involved in this case for their diligent work as the weight of evidence has given him little option but to plead guilty.
“Although this case predates the COVID-19 pandemic, we are conscious that isolation measures could lead to an increase in radicalisation as vulnerable people spend more time online.
“I’d urge anyone with concerns to visit the ‘Let’s Talk About It’ website, which contains advice and guidance on what signs to look out for and where to go for help if you think someone is at risk of being radicalised.”
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