Leicestershire man jailed for 'reckless' posts encouraging terrorism | Counter Terrorism Policing

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Leicestershire man jailed for ‘reckless’ posts encouraging terrorism

A Leicestershire man, who described a mass killer as a ‘hero’ and shared harrowing footage of a terrorist attack, has been jailed for encouraging terrorism.

Edward Griffiths (pictured) sent videos to people of the terrorist attack – which was committed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019 and resulted in the killing of 51 people – stating he would “love” to do what the perpetrator of the attacks did. Griffiths also stated that he would “like” to go on a killing spree and talked about different people he would like to kill.

In a social media post, the 44-year-old also described the perpetrator of the Christchurch attacks as a “hero”.

Custody image of Edward Griffiths

The police and prosecution’s case did not allege that Griffiths was planning any specific attack but that he had an extreme mindset and was reckless about whether his actions would encourage others to commit terrorist acts.

The offences by Griffiths were committed between November 2021 and June 2022. Following an investigation, officers from Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands (CTPEM) executed a warrant in June 2022, which saw Griffiths, of Hermitage Road in Whitwick, Coalville, arrested at his home.

Griffiths admitted being the user of various social media profiles but mostly answered ‘no comment’ in interview. In a later interview he said sending the video around was wrong, that he had shared it with a few close friends and that he had been going through a bad time in his life during the Covid pandemic.

Griffiths was charged in May last year and, following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court last month, he was found guilty of one count of encouragement of terrorism and of two counts of dissemination of a terrorist publication.

Today (Friday 7 June 2024) he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

Detective Inspector Glynn Jehu, from CTPEM, said: “Fifty one people lost their lives in the Christchurch attacks. Spreading messages of extreme hate and violence in the way that Griffiths did is dangerous, reckless and could easily have encouraged others to commit an act of terrorism.

“It was therefore important that we stopped this by acting on information received, investigating the communications fully and bringing Griffiths before the courts.

“Please remember that information you provide to us can help to stop acts of terrorism or the encouragement of acts of terrorism. If you have any information about activity or behaviour that doesn’t feel right, please report it so that action can be taken. You can find more information on how you can help at What You Can Do | Counter Terrorism Policing