Britain’s youngest Islamist terrorist is back behind bars for breaching his release terms after being jailed for plotting a beheading and massacre aged just 14.
The man, from Blackburn, Lancashire, identified only by the letters RXG, was described as a ‘deeply committed extremist’ who, aged 14, was days away from helping stage a ‘massacre’ during a Anzac Day parade in Australia in April 2015.
Six months later he was given a life sentence by Manchester Crown Court and told he would not be eligible for parole until October 2020 after serving at least five years in prison after admitting inciting to terrorism abroad.
He was arrested last month and, now in his early 20s, is back in custody in a prison in the north of England, security sources told the PA news agency.
RXG was found to be in possession of a smartphone, which violated the terms of its license release.
The nature of the material on his phone is not known to PA, but sources said the fact that he had the device connected to the internet meant he was detained.
RXG had exchanged more than 3,000 encrypted messages from his Samsung phone asking an Australian jihadist, Sevdet Besim, to launch ‘martyrdom’ attacks during an Anzac Day remembrance parade in Melbourne.
The teenager was recruited online by Islamic State propagandist Abu Khaled al-Cambodi and assumed the role of ‘organizer and advisor’, suggesting Besim behead or use a car and machete to assassinate police officers.
Australian police were alerted to the plot after British officers uncovered information on the teenager’s phone.
The media are prohibited from identifying RXG so as not to interfere with his rehabilitation.
A Probation Service spokesperson said: “Protecting the public is our number one priority, so where offenders breach the conditions of their release and potentially pose an increased risk, we have no hesitation in returning them to custody. “
Video: Daily Policy Briefing: January 28 (PA Media)
Click to enlarge
There is no indication that he committed any other offences.
Sources said RXG once had a “close shave” during his recall to prison, after being located near an airport.
When jailed at Manchester Crown Court in October 2015, an expert concluded the defendant posed a high risk of serious harm to the public, including forces and emergency service personnel around the world.
Jailing him, Judge Saunders said the revelation that someone as young as 14 had radicalized himself to the point of wanting to murder was “chilling”.
The court heard the defendant felt isolated in terms of education and family life, and was filling the “empty” in his life with religious extremism.
He had paid ‘lip service’ to the government’s attempts to de-radicalize him through the Channel program and had ‘disengaged’ from the process.
Police found “disturbing material” on electronic devices seized from his room.
An officer from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit (NWCTU) high-tech unit decoded the encrypted messages exchanged and uncovered the plot.
Anzac Day was chosen for the attack as it is commemorated annually on April 25, to honor Australians and New Zealanders killed in war.
Besim, then 18 and from Melbourne, pleaded guilty to a single terrorism-related charge and was jailed for 10 years in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2016.
A prohibition against identifying RXG because he was under the age of 18 applied at the time of his conviction.
The ban would normally expire on his 18th birthday, but he successfully won a High Court ruling in 2019 giving him lifetime anonymity after media tried to name the accused.
The judge said experts had concluded that identifying RXG would “fundamentally compromise” his rehabilitation.