Britain’s youngest ever convicted terrorist will be freed from jail, a parole board has ruled, citing the progress the young man has made in detention.
At the age of 14 the man, identified only as RXG, was convicted of inciting terrorism abroad and jailed for life for his role as “organizer and adviser” in a plot to kill police officers at Australia’s Anzac Day in 2015.
A court that year heard that RXG had been recruited by Daesh propagandist Abu Khaled Al-Cambodi, and had gone on to send thousands of messages to 19-year-old jihadist Sevdet Besim in Australia, encouraging him to behead or use a car to kill officers at the parade.
Besim remains in jail, where he is expected to serve at least seven and a half years for his role in the plot, which was foiled when British officers alerted their Australian counterparts after finding material on RXG’s phone.
During his sentencing, the British Parole Board pointed out “risk factors” that RXG displayed at the time of the offense, including “not coping well with feelings of anger, being manipulative, not being open and honest with people, his lack of maturity, obsessional behaviour, the influence on him of associates, unhelpful beliefs and extremist views, his radicalisation and his affiliation with ISIS (Daesh).”
But when justifying his release, the board said he had since been diagnosed with autism and worked hard to “address his offending behaviour, his understanding of Islam and to develop his level of maturity.”
It added: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in detention, and the evidence presented at the hearings, the panel was satisfied that RXG was suitable for release.”
On release, he will be subject to heavy restrictions on his residence, movement, online communications and in-person affiliations.
RXG’s identity will remain a secret for his whole life, because identifying him would put him at risk of “serious harm,” the judge said.
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