A man convicted of terrorism offenses after sharing explosives and firearms manuals in extreme right wing chat groups online has been jailed.
Michael Nugent, 38 of Ashford, Surrey, U.K., ran and was active on a number of extreme right wing chat groups on the Telegram app. He used different personas in the chat rooms to express his racist views and hatred of ethnic minorities and shared terrorist-related documents with others. But he was identified and arrested after Metropolitan Police (Met) Counter Terrorism officers linked the various online accounts to Nugent’s real-world identity.
On June 23, 2021, he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court.
Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Nugent freely shared his abhorrent extremist views with others over a messaging app, and he passed on manuals detailing how to produce deadly weapons and explosive devices.
“However, he was stopped when he was arrested by counterterrorism officers. This is another case which shows how harmful online extremism is. That is why it is important that anyone who believes that they have a friend or loved one who they think has been radicalized, or is vulnerable, seeks help.
“The Counter Terrorism Command, with the national Counter Terrorism Policing network and other partners, work around the clock to bring the likes of Nugent to justice, root out harmful extremism online, and keep the public safe.”
Nugent shared manuals on how to make explosives and homemade firearms, and published an edited video of the Christchurch Mosque terror attack. One of his offenses relates to Nugent sending an edited version of the manifesto written by the Christchurch attacker.
Nugent was arrested on August 19 2020. He was interviewed over seven days following his arrest, but gave no comment.
Nugent was initially charged with 12 Terrorism Act offences and first appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 25 2020. A further six charges were subsequently added.
At Kingston Crown Court on May 13 2021, Nugent pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006); and 11 counts of possession of a document containing information likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism (contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000). Nugent pleaded not guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism, and these charges were ordered to lie on file.