UK jails right-wing extremist who helped ‘inspire’ US mass shootings
London – A 19-year-old Briton whose far-right videos helped ‘inspire’ two recent US shootings, police say, was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a British court on Friday. Daniel Harris was found guilty of incitement to terrorism.
He had previously been convicted of six terrorism offenses in November 2022, following a slew of online posts on the World Truth Videos platform spewing racist rhetoric and calling for the death of minorities.
Harris was also convicted of possessing a 3D printer with the intent of making his own gun.
The teen’s online videos were repeatedly referenced by the shooter behind the supermarket shooting in Buffalo, New York last May, as well as the suspect in mass shooting at a Colorado gay club in November.
Harris’ previous convictions include aggravated criminal damages for defacing a Manchester mural of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minnesota police officer in 2020.
Judge Patrick Field KC told the court on Friday that Harris created a series of videos glorifying acts of murder with specific instructions to imitate them, according to BBC News.
“In these videos, you expressed and repeated despicable anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic and homophobic views,” he told Harris during sentencing. “You intended to encourage terrorism, and clearly what was being encouraged was lethal, racist and anti-Semitic violence, as well as violence against the gay community.”
Last year, a 19-year-old man pleaded guilty to the hate-motivated murder of 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. An online statement he posted revealed that his aim was to target a predominantly black neighborhood. At the top of his online statement was an image taken from one of Harris’ videos.
Two months before the shooting, the Buffalo shooter commented on one of Harris’ posts praising a 2019 terrorist attack on a mosque in New Zealandthe American saying to the British teenager: “You are not alone my friend :)”.
“The threat [Harris] posed became such that we had to act in order to keep the general public safe,” Detective Inspector Chris Brett said in a police statement after sentencing Friday. “The reference to one of his videos in the prelude to the Buffalo attack is a case in point.”
Further evidence revealed that the person suspected of having killing five people at the Q Club in Colorado had also frequented Harris’ channel on the World Truth Videos platform.
“As we saw in this case against Daniel Harris, such irresponsible and hateful behavior can have deadly consequences,” Brett said. “Although not all individuals can afford to act on their words, in the online space they can easily spread to inspire others who do.”