On January 27, 2023, a 19-year-old British man was sentenced to 11 and a half years’ imprisonment for six terrorism offenses, which he had been convicted of in November 2022. When sentencing, the judge described the defendant, Daniel Harris, as “highly dangerous and a significant risk to members of the public.”
Harris’ convictions were due to five right-wing extremist videos he made and uploaded to the World Truth Videos platform between February 2021 and March 2022. In the videos he “glorif[ied] acts of murder with specific instructions to emulate them.” The videos were referenced by two individuals in the United States who committed mass shootings. Screenshots of Harris’ videos were included in a manifesto by Payton Gendron, who pleaded guilty to murdering 10 people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and links were made between Harris’ videos and Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect in a mass shooting at a bar in Colorado.
Harris was convicted on five counts of encouraging terrorism under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 due to publishing or causing to be published a statement with the intent to encourage others to be “induced … to commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism or Convention offences,” or to be reckless as to whether the statement would encourage others to engage in these actions. This offense applies to any statement that
The section further provides that the contents of the statement as a whole as well as the circumstances and manner of its publication should be considered together when determining whether the requirements of the offense are met.
A sixth conviction was for possession of material for terrorist purposes under section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000, in this case a 3D printer that he attempted to use to make his own gun.
In a press release, the police stated that Harris was behind “a concerted effort to generate a following and influence people.” The police further detailed that while they initially attempted to support Harris and determine whether he had been groomed, he acted in a manner toward the police that indicated he was deradicalized while continuing to encourage terrorism online. The police determined that
the extent of his views and intentions were exposed through his continued efforts to post and create online content of an extreme nature throughout. Harris was ultimately deemed not to have been groomed, rather his provocative words and inflammatory films were potentially radicalising others. The threat he posed became such that we had to act in order to ensure the safety of the wider public.
Clare Feikert-Ahalt, Law Library of Congress
March 1, 2023
Read more Global Legal Monitor articles.