Man who ran far-right chat groups on Telegram pleads guilty to 16 terror charges

·2-min read
<p>Michael Nugent</p> (Metropolitan Police )

Michael Nugent

(Metropolitan Police )

A man who shared explosives and firearms manuals while expressing his far-right views online has been convicted of terrorism offences.

Michael Nugent, 37 from Ashford, in Surrey, ran and was active on a number of extreme right wing chat groups on the Telegram app.

Using different personas, he expressed racist views and a hatred of ethnic minorities while also sharing terrorist-related documents.

Nugent also shared manuals on how to make explosives and homemade firearms and told group members about how to deliver bombs in Amazon packages.

He was arrested on August 19, 2020, when an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command linked various online accounts to Nugent’s real-world identity.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Nugent was an active member of internet chat rooms where he freely shared his abhorrent extremist views with others.

“He sought to influence and encourage other members to commit acts of violence, and passed on manuals detailing how to produce deadly weapons and explosive devices.

“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 has been or is vulnerable to radicalisation seeks help,” he added.

Nugent was initially charged with 12 Terrorism Act offences and first appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 25 August last year. A further six charges were subsequently added.

Nugent pleaded not guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism, and these charges were ordered to lie on file.

At Kingston Crown Court on Thursday, 13 May, Nugent pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006); and 11 counts of possession of a document containing information likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism (contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000).

He is due to be sentenced on 23 June 2021.

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