LONDON: A British man who was jailed after encouraging terror attacks from his parents’ house praised Brenton Tarrant, who committed mass shootings in two mosques in Christchurch in 2019.
White supremacist Michael Nugent, 38, admitted five counts of disseminating terrorist publications, and 11 of possessing information useful to a terrorist.
He organized several messaging groups on Telegram, an app popular with extremists, where people shared terrorist manifestos and explosives manuals.
The court heard how he “honored” right-wing terrorists in his messaging groups, including Tarrant and Norwegian Anders Breivik.
Nugent described Tarrant’s mass murder of 51 Muslims as a “game-changer,” and created a celebration video on the one-year anniversary.
Nugent disseminated Tarrant’s manifesto, published after the massacre, which encouraged others to launch similar attacks. “I understand why Tarrant did what he did,” he wrote on Telegram.
As he was sentenced on Wednesday, Judge Peter Lodder QC told Nugent he had “knowingly encouraged right-wing terrorism.”
Jailing him for three-and-a-half years, Lodder added: “You did not work but spent all of your time at home in your parents’ house, where from your bedroom you developed your online extremist persona.
“You posted toxic, offensive material to websites and administered groups which were dedicated to violent racist, antisemitic and neo-Nazi ideology.
“Whatever your mental health at the time, no-one concludes that you weren’t aware of what you were doing.” The court was told that Nugent suffered from psychosis.
He wrote in a diary, seized by police, that he wanted to see ethnic minorities “sent home” and “sterilized.”
One section said: “We are being genocided in our own homes and our own country … Terrorism is the only way out of it.”
Nugent’s lawyer Liam Walker said the defendant “does not recognize the person he was at the time or the views he held.”
Walker said Nugent’s family had described him as a “withdrawn man, agoraphobic in his habits.”
Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: “This is another case which shows how harmful online extremism is. That is why it is important that anyone who believes that they have a friend or loved one who they think has been radicalized, or is vulnerable, seeks help.”