U.K. jails right-wing extremist who helped “inspire” U.S. mass shootings
London — A 19-year-old British man whose extreme right-wing videos helped “inspire” two recent U.S. shootings, according to police, was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison by a U.K. court. Daniel Harris was convicted of encouraging terrorism.
He had been previously found guilty of six terrorism offenses in November of 2022, following a slew of online posts on the World Truth Videos platform spewing racist rhetoric and issuing calls for the death of minorities.
Harris was also convicted of the possession of a 3D printer with the intent to make his own gun.
The teenager’s online videos were referenced several times by the gunman behind the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York last May, as well as the suspect in the mass killing at a Colorado gay club in November.
Harris’ previous convictions include aggravated criminal damage for defacing a Manchester mural of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minnesota in 2020.
Judge Patrick Field KC told the court on Friday that Harris created a series of videos glorifying acts of murder with specific instructions to emulate them, according to BBC News.
“In these videos you expressed and repeated vile antisemitic, racist, misogynistic and homophobic views,” he told Harris at the sentencing. “You intended to encourage terrorism, and it’s plain that what was being encouraged was lethal, racist and antisemitic violence, as well as violence against the gay community.”
Last year, a 19-year-old man pleaded guilty to the the hate-fueled murder of 10 individuals in the Buffalo, New York grocery store. An online statement he posted revealed his objective was to target a predominantly Black neighborhood. At the top of his online statement was an image taken from one of Harris’ videos.
Two months prior to the shooting, the Buffalo gunman commented on one of Harris’ posts praising a 2019 terror attack on a mosque in New Zealand, with the American telling the British teenager, “You are not alone my friend :)”.
“The threat [Harris] posed became such that we had to act in order to ensure the safety of the wider public,” Detective Inspector Chris Brett said in a police statement after the sentencing on Friday. “The reference to one of his videos in the prelude to the Buffalo attack is a case in point.”
Further evidence revealed that the person suspected of killing five people at the Q Club in Colorado had also frequented Harris’ channel on the World Truth Videos platform.
“As we have seen in this case against Daniel Harris, such irresponsible and hateful behavior can have deadly consequences,” Brett said. “While not all individuals have the means to act upon their words, in the online space, they can easily spread to inspire others who do.”
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