Artist News Legal

Teenager found guilty of plotting attack on Justin Bieber concert

By | Published on Tuesday 28 November 2017

Justin Bieber

A seventeen year old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been convicted of plotting a terrorist attack at a Justin Bieber concert in Cardiff a month after the bombing of an Ariana Grande show in Manchester earlier this year.

Described as being of white British heritage, a police investigation found that the boy had become interested in the so-called Islamic State in the summer of 2016. He was taken into custody on 30 Jun this year, the day of the Bieber show, after police learned that he had researched the venue as the possible target of an attack. In his school bag was found a knife, a hammer and a suicide note declaring himself to be “a soldier of the Islamic State”.

On his laptop investigators found IS propaganda magazines, searches in the defendant’s web history seeming to research murder and possible targets for an attack, and a Jihad-related Instagram account which he had been operating. He also admitted to communicating with someone on Instagram who had told him that he needed to carry out an attack in order to get to paradise.

In court, the defendant claimed that, while he was interested in gory things, he had only been researching carrying out an attack because of an interest as to how someone would go about such a thing, adding that he never intended to actually harm anyone. He also denied believing in Islam.

As well as one count of ‘engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts’, he was also found guilty of two counts of encouraging terrorism and two of possessing terrorist information.

In a statement, Sue Hemming of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This teenager’s behaviour over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible in an attack reminiscent of the incident on Westminster Bridge”

She went on: “He was also posting extremist content online that could have encouraged others to commit terrorist acts and downloading instructions on how to carry out ‘lone wolf’ attacks. The CPS presented overwhelming evidence that he was prepared to die for Daesh’s extremist worldview and he will now rightly face the prospect of a substantial prison sentence”.

The boy will be held in custody until his sentencing on 10 Jan. The judge said that he was considering an indefinite sentence and asked for further information in order to reach his conclusion.