An extensive investigation, which involved the review of over 400,000 images, videos, social media posts and other material, has led to the conviction on June 11 of a 24 year old man from Bath, U.K.
The operation, led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East (CTP NE) and supported by Avon and Somerset Police, CTP South West, Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit and the Metropolitan Police, centered on the now proscribed group System Resistance Network* and Andrew Dymock, specifically the use of social media to promote extreme right wing terrorism and encourage others to participate in terrorist related activity.
The defendant also used the platforms to attempt to raise money for terrorist purposes and posted material online aimed at stirring hatred towards specific groups and communities.
During searches as part of the operation, 29 electronic devices were recovered, leading to the examination of 750 GB of data including almost 118,000 images and videos.
The jury, at the Central Criminal Court, found Dymock of Weymouth Court, Bath guilty of all 15 offenses:
- Five counts of Encouraging terrorism, contrary to section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006
- Two counts of disseminating terrorist publications, contrary to section 2(1) and (2)(a) of the Terrorism Act 2006
- Two counts of disseminating terrorist publications, contrary to section 2(1) and (2)(f) of the Terrorism Act 2006
- One count of terrorist fundraising, contrary to section 15(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000
- One count of terrorist fundraising, contrary to section 15(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000
- One count of possessing a document or record of use to a terrorist, contrary to section 58 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Act 2000.
- One count of publishing or distributing written material intending to stir up racial hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, contrary to section 29C(1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
- One count of publishing or distributing written material to stir up racial hatred, contrary to section 19(1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
- One count of possession of racially inflammatory material, contrary to section 23(1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
The defendant has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on June 24 at the Central Criminal Court.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, Head of CTP North East said: “This is another case which shows how harmful online extremism is. Our investigation unearthed a large amount of material that expressed not only extreme right wing views but also attempted to stir up widespread hatred and division in our communities.
“That is why it is so important that If you see someone looking at extremist material, or sharing and creating content that promotes or glorifies terrorism, then please report it. You are not wasting our time, and no call or click will be ignored. What you tell us is treated in the strictest confidence and is thoroughly researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken.
“We continue to tackle all forms of toxic extremism which has the potential to threaten public safety and security. We work tirelessly with our partners to confront them and bring those involved to justice.
“With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. The cooperation between public and police is a powerful defense. Action Counters Terrorism. Please report concerns via www.gov.uk/ACT .”
Chief Inspector Steve Kendall, area commander for Bath and North East Somerset, said: “Andrew Dymock, through the spreading of hatred, has tried to divide our communities.
“Although he is from Bath, he did not pose any immediate threat to the safety of local people.
“If you’re concerned about the behavior of someone you know, either in real life or online, please trust your instincts and report it.
“There is no place in our society for people like this. The police and security services work tirelessly to identify those who have been radicalized or are vulnerable to radicalization and take appropriate action to ensure they do not pose a risk of harm to anyone.”
*The defendant was charged with the above offenses in December 2019. System Resistance Network were proscribed in February 2020 and therefore, at the time the above offenses were committed, the group was NOT a proscribed organization. The defendant was not charged with proscription offenses as part of this case.