Teenager who made far-right hate videos jailed for 11 and a half years

Daniel Harris, 19, from Derbyshire, described by judge as 'dangerous' and a 'propagandist'

Daniel Harris was found guilty in December of five counts of encouraging terrorism and one count of possession of material for terrorist purposes. PA
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A British teenager whose far-right extremist videos influenced the gunman in an American mass shooting has been sentenced to 11 and a half years in jail.

Daniel Harris, 19, posted videos that were shared by Payton Gendron, who carried out a racially motivated supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York, and linked to Anderson Lee Aldrich, the only suspect in a shooting at a gay bar in Colorado.

Judge Patrick Field called Harris, 19, “highly dangerous” and a “propagandist for an extremist right-wing ideology”.

“You were in close touch with other right-wing extremists online and there can be little doubt that you shared ideas between you,” Mr Field told Harris during sentencing at Manchester Crown Court.

He said he had “no hesitation” in coming to the conclusion that Harris was “highly dangerous” and passed an extended sentence, with a licence period of three years on top of the custodial sentence.

Harris was found guilty in December of five counts of encouraging terrorism and one count of possession of material for terrorist purposes for trying to make a gun with a 3D printer.

The court heard that the teenager from Derbyshire posted videos online for more than a year, starting at the age of 17.

He reportedly posted under the name BookAnon on a platform called World Truth Videos.

Mr Field told Harris: “At the very least, the material you produced and published has had some influence upon the young man [Gendron].”

Gendron was 18 when he shot his victims in a supermarket in New York in May 2022.

The judge said Harris had previous convictions including the racially aggravated criminal damage of a memorial to George Floyd in Manchester.

Daniel Harris was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for videos promoting racist violence that have been linked to two mass killings in the US. AFP

He was engaged with a deradicalisation programme, but told the operative his behaviour was a “blip” and denied having any interest in politics.

At the time he made those claims, the court heard, he was creating a video homage to Thomas Mair, who murdered MP Jo Cox.

The judge said he demonstrated “a level of deceit and cunning”.

Counter-Terrorism Policing detective inspector Chris Brett said he continued to post extremist material while being monitored by authorities.

“Harris was ultimately deemed not to have been groomed — rather his provocative words and inflammatory films were potentially radicalising others,” Mr Brett said.

He warned other extremists that police would find them even if they “hide behind usernames, avatars and other technical blockers”.

UK intelligence agencies, police and MPs have stepped up warnings about right-wing extremism.

Domestic security agents have been investigating teenagers as young as 13 with suspected white supremacist beliefs, MI5 chief Ken McCallum said last year.

Of 29 “late-stage” attack plots disrupted in the four preceding years, 10 were planned by extreme right-wingers, he said.

The House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee said in a December report that the online threat was driven by “predominantly young men, many of them still in their teens”.

Few belong to organised groups and so are difficult to identify and monitor, the report said, and experts warn that online radicalisation only worsened during pandemic lockdowns.

Updated: January 27, 2023, 11:13 PM