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Daniel Harris: Teen detained over videos linked to US mass shootings

Daniel HarrisDerbyshire Police

A British man who posted far-right videos that influenced the gunman behind a US mass shooting has been given an 11-and-a-half-year sentence.

Daniel Harris, 19, uploaded racist videos calling for the “total extermination of subhumans”, Manchester Crown Court heard.

They were shared by Payton Gendron, who killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York.

Harris, from Glossop in Derbyshire, was found guilty of terrorism offences following a trial last year.

As well as serving his sentence in a young offenders institution, he must also serve three years on extended licence once released.

People pray at a memorial at the scene of a weekend shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 20, 2022.

Reuters

The court heard Harris, or Lord Street, made videos about the Christchurch mosque shootings, the killer of MP Jo Cox and other far-right figures.

The videos were uploaded to the internet between February 2021 and March 2022.

On Thursday it emerged some were shared online by Payton Gendron, who has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting 10 black people at a supermarket in May.

Links between Harris and Anderson Lee Aldrich, the only suspect in a mass shooting at a gay bar in Colorado, were also made while Harris was on trial.

Harris’s video was posted on a website with links that appeared to show Aldrich preparing to carry out the attacks, in which five people were killed and 25 were injured.

Manchester Crown Court

PA Media

Harris was convicted in December of five counts of encouraging terrorism and one count of possession of material for terrorist purposes.

Judge Patrick Field KC, sentencing, said Harris “created a series of videos” where he “glorified mass murderers” and “encouraged other people to emulate them” having “provided specific instructions”.

“In these videos you expressed and repeated vile anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic and homophobic views,” he said.

“You intended to encourage terrorism, and it’s plain that what was being encouraged was lethal, racist and anti-Semitic violence, as well as violence against the gay community.”

At the sentencing hearing on Friday, the court also heard Harris was producing his videos after he had been sentenced for defacing a memorial in Manchester of George Floyd, who was killed by an American police officer in 2020.

Judge Field said the defendant had portrayed the incident as “no more than a blip” and told “a series of lies”.

The judge also referred to an incident where Harris attempted to make a firearm through a 3D printer, which he said could have been used in a deadly attack.

“That you failed in this task was a matter of good fortune,” he said.

“I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that you are highly dangerous.”

Daniel Harris

Derbyshire Police

Det Insp Chris Brett, from Counter-Terrorism Policing in the East Midlands, said Harris was behind “a concerted effort to generate a following and influence people”.

“On the face of it, [he] presents as an unassuming, quiet young man, but scratch the surface and it’s a more sinister picture,” he said.

“While efforts were made to support him – with a referral to establish if he had been groomed, and attempts to engage with him through the Prevent programme – the extent of his views and intentions were exposed through his continued efforts to post and create online content of an extreme nature throughout.

“Harris was ultimately deemed not to have been groomed, rather his provocative words and inflammatory films were potentially radicalising others.

“The threat he posed became such that we had to act in order to ensure the safety of the wider public.”

Nick Price, head of special crime and counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, also welcomed the sentencing.

“Harris sought to encourage others to commit terrorist acts through his violent, anti-Semitic and racist videos which would have been watched by many,” he said.

“These videos were not harmless entertainment – in them he glorified mass murderers.”

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