A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to Explosives and Terrorism Offences and was sentenced today at the Old Bailey.
Anwar Driouich was arrested by officers in North London on August 31 2019 as part of an intelligence led policing operation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East supported by Cleveland Police. An address in London, two addresses in Middlesbrough and one in Teesville were searched as part of the investigation.
The authorities were alerted to Driouich by the purchase of a number chemicals, and following his arrest forensic examination of his mobile phone revealed a number of proscribed publications and documents detailing how to manufacture explosives. He had also viewed thousands of violent videos including mass murder perpetrated by gun and bomb attacks.
He was later charged with one offence of possessing an explosive substance contrary to Section 4(1) of the Explosives Substance Act 1883 and seven offences of possessing a document likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the offences.
Driouich was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “Whilst there was no evidence of Driouich having a terrorist mind-set, there was evidence of his morbid fascination with extreme violence.
“It is possible that he could have gone on to be influenced by others to commit further offences had he not come to the attention of the authorities.
“The materials in his possession could easily be used by those intent on causing harm to others and seeking to disrupt society. In pleading guilty, Driouich has recognised the seriousness of his behaviour and the implications of his actions.
“We continue to appeal to the public, if concerned about the behaviour, actions or attitudes of someone they know to report their concerns. We would always prefer to safeguard those at risk from potentially negative influences and prevent them being drawn in to terrorism or criminality, rather than prosecuting them once their behaviour has gone too far.”
Cleveland Police Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Orchard said: “I want to thank the highly-skilled officers working at Cleveland Police and Counter Terrorism Policing North East for bringing this man to justice. It is the responsibility of all of us to report any concerns or suspicions that we have so we can prevent and detect terrorist activity and ultimately save lives.”
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