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Morgan Seales and Gabriele Longo held “extreme right-wing beliefs” the court heard

Two men who encouraged copycat terror attacks after shootings in New Zealand have been jailed.

Morgan Seales and Gabriele Longo discussed doing something similar to the attacks on mosques in Christchurch which claimed 51 lives in March.

They were convicted of encouraging terrorism and other offences after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Seales, from South Shields, was jailed for four years. Longo, from Crawley, West Sussex, was given a six-year term.

The court heard the pair published extreme right-wing statements encouraging terrorism on a WhatsApp group called Christian White Militia.

‘Despicable acts’

Counter-terror police arrested Seales, 20, from Turner Avenue, South Shields, shortly after the New Zealand attacks, when suspicions were raised about his online activities.

Longo, 26, of Burdock Close, Crawley, was arrested the following month after he was identified from Seales’ mobile phone records.

As well as encouraging terrorism, the pair were also found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes and collecting or making a record of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.

Longo was also found guilty of disseminating terrorist publications.

The court was told Seales suffered from a personality disorder and had a “very difficult childhood” in which he battled anxiety and depression with the aid of children’s services but had “fallen through the net” of adult support services.

‘Threat to Muslims’

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said Longo was “something of an enigma” as little was known about him but he was satisfied he was “deeply radicalised”.

He added: “Both of you were in danger of indoctrinating others in that group chat. There were some very young people, some as young as 14.

“Your activity posed not only a threat to Muslims who were your potential victims but also a threat to everyone in our democratic society.”

After the sentencing hearing, Det Ch Supt Martin Snowden, head of counter terrorism policing north east, said “despicable acts” were encouraged under the “banner of right-wing ideology”.

He added: “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 beliefs, their beliefs developing and evolving over time through research and connecting with like-minded individuals.”

BBC News


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.

Counter Terrorism Police