A 17-year-old in south Wales who supported ISIS was sentenced last week to life in prison after authorities discovered his plot to attack a Justin Bieber concert last summer. The boy will serve at least 11 years before being considered for parole, according to the BBC.
17-year-old Lloyd Gunton locked up over Cardiff terror plans https://t.co/R77slmCAWG
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 2, 2018
Lloyd Gunton, who has an autism diagnosis, published images of terrorists and the ISIS flag on social media in late June 2017. His Instagram account promoted jihad and supported al Qaeda – one post read: “May Allah bring terrorism to Cardiff on 20th June.” Police said the password for the account was “truck attack,” the BBC reported.
When investigators looked further into Gunton’s internet activity, they discovered the boy had researched how to carry out vehicle ramming attacks and how to stab and kill an individual. His search history even included “[ISIS] beheading video,” “how to create a terror attack” and “what does getting shot feel like.”
Gunton also looked into the security arrangements of an upcoming Justin Bieber concert at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
This led to his arrest on June 30, 2017, one day before the concert. The teen had a gutting knife on his person and a hammer in his school backpack, and a “martyrdom letter” stating he was a “solider of the Islamic state” and “more attacks will follow,” the BBC said.
“I am a soldier of the Islamic State”
Teenager Lloyd Gunton given life sentence for planned terror attack Justin Bieber gig attack https://t.co/4qaFaEx6rs
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) March 3, 2018
Jurors at a Birmingham crown court were told Gunton had also written a note with bullet points including “run down the non-believers with a car” and “strike the infidels who oppose Allah in the neck,” The Guardian reported.
He was ultimately found guilty of one charge of engaging in the preparation of a terrorist act, two charges of encouraging terrorism, and two charges of possessing terrorist information.
At his hearing, Judge Mark Wall QC told Gunton: “At the time of your arrest, you were within hours of committing an act of atrocity on the streets of Cardiff. It is not possible to estimate how many people who have been murdered or seriously inured by your actions, as the attack was foiled before you would undertake it. I am sure that you planned not just the killing of one person but rather mass murder.”
The judge explained that the boy’s autism diagnosis made him “something of a loner and someone more easily impressed by the things you read on the internet,” according to a report.
On Gunton’s future, the judge explained to the boy that “it is important that, having been tempted to commit a serious offense such as this, you are under some form of supervision for the rest of your life.”