Two men who came together online to promote their shared extreme right wing mind-set have today (Monday October 21) been found guilty of offences under the Terrorism Act.
26 year old Gabriele Longo of Burdock Close, Crawley and 20 year old Morgan Seales of Turner Avenue, South Shields, have both been found guilty of encouraging terrorism, possessing material for terrorist purposes and collecting or making a record of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.
The jury at Leeds Crown Court also found Longo guilty of disseminating terrorist publications.
The arrests of Longo and Seales followed an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, supported by CTP South East, Northumbria and Sussex Police.
After concerns were raised about Seales’ online activity, he was arrested in March this year, and, following the granting of a warrant of further detention, was charged in April.
Following examination of Seales’ mobile phone, a further person (Longo) was identified as having posted concerning material online. As a result, Longo was arrested in early April and subsequently charged.
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “It is apparent from the examination of both individuals’ mobile phones that they regularly participated in online chats and made postings that reflect their extreme right wing beliefs, their beliefs developing and evolving over time through research and connecting with like-minded individuals.
“Longo also went as far as encouraging others to carry out despicable acts under the banner of the extreme right wing ideology.
“With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism.
“Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is encouraging communities across the country to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity, including the posting and sharing of material of concern you may have seen online.
“Every day, officers from the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit trawl the Internet, looking for extremist material but thousands of reports each year come from members of the public who flag up their concerns regarding online posts.
“If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or, in an emergency, dial 999.”
Longo and Seales will be sentenced on Wednesday, October 23.