Bath man jailed for sharing explosives recipe in far-right chat
A man who shared bomb-making instructions in a far-right group chat has been jailed for three years and three months.
Elliot Brown, 25, from Bath, shared a video of his Alexa speaker reading out a recipe for the explosive thermite.
Brown denied collecting information that could be of use to a terrorist and disseminating a terrorist publication.
He was found guilty after a week-long trial and jailed at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday.
Brown was sent to prison for three years and three months on each charge, with the sentences to run concurrently.
Judge Anthony Leonard KC also ordered Brown spend an extra year on licence after his release due to his offences “being of particular concern”.
During the trial the jury heard how Brown, who has no previous convictions, held “extremist views”.
Brown was a member of a far-right group chat in which he exchanged racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic messages with other members.
The group chat also contained photos related to the support of neo-Nazism and white supremacy.
Brown recorded a 30-second video on 22 March 2020 in which his Amazon Alexa speaker responded to his question – “how do I make thermite?”
Alexa read out instructions from a website which Mr Brown recorded and sent into the chat via the messenger app Telegram.
Three days later fellow group member Dean Morrice purchased materials that could be combined to make thermite.
In August 2020 police raided Morrice’s home and found enough aluminium powder, iron oxide, and magnesium ribbon in the kitchen to make the explosive substance.
Morrice was later convicted of 10 terrorism related offences, including stockpiling explosive materials.
Brown was subsequently arrested in February 2021 for the dissemination of a terrorist publication but he told police he made the video “as a harmless joke”.
He said he had “a dark sense of humour” and was being “ironic” and had “made comments” to gain others group members’ approval because he was significantly younger than them.
Giving evidence, Brown said he was “ashamed and angry” of “extremist” comments he had made in the group chat.
“My views, at the time, were uneducated, far-right, anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic and I was in a vulnerable place at the time and had become more right-wing,” he said.
He said he had abandoned his extremist views, adding he was “saved by becoming a Christian” after Morrice’s arrest.
Det Supt Craig McWhinnie, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South West (CTPSW), said: “While there is no evidence that Brown planned to commit any terrorist attack, his actions went beyond just casual talk and are a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act.”
Supt Steve Kendall, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “People like Elliot Brown, who hold extremist views, can live absolutely anywhere and, although these instances are rare, they remind us we all need to be vigilant.”