Teenager found guilty of terrorism offences

A teenager from Swindon has been found guilty of six offences relating to the possession and dissemination of terrorist material.

Malaki Wheeler was found guilty after a two-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

The 18-year-old has been remanded in custody to be sentenced on 3 November.

Wheeler was arrested in May 2021 as part of an intelligence-led operation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, with support from Counter Terrorism Policing South West. The operation was focussed on an online chat group in which like-minded individuals were suspected of possessing, sharing and posting extreme right-wing views, content and instructional material.

Wheeler was found to have regularly posted racist and antisemitic material and propaganda, in addition to distributing information about how to create weapons and explosives.

Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East said: “Although only 16 at the time of his arrest, Wheeler was deeply entrenched in a Telegram chat group committed to extreme right-wing ideology.

“He was not simply curious, or a passive observer within the group. He clearly shared the same mindset as other members and was very active when it came to promoting racist and antisemitic views and propaganda.

“It is important young people recognise the potential impact of their online activity, before they cross a line into criminality, or engage in harmful or dangerous behaviours.

“If someone you know is expressing extreme views or hatred, we’d urge you to ACT Early and get help before the situation escalates into something more serious."

Wiltshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith said: “I’m sure this case will cause some concern within our communities in Swindon but I hope it illustrates the commitment across the national police service to work together to apprehend those who share deeply dangerous views.

“I would like to thank our colleagues at the National Counter Terrorism Policing Network for their robust action and for ensuring this individual doesn’t pose any threat to our local communities.

“This is a timely reminder that everyone has a part to play in stopping these types of criminal activities. If you have any concerns or something does not seem right, please report these to the police."


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