Islamophobic podcasters convicted of terrorism

Patten-Walsh (l) and Gibbons

Two men who used a podcast series to encourage listeners to commit violent acts against ethnic minorities have been convicted of terrorism offences.

Christopher Gibbons, 40, and Tyrone Patten-Walsh, 35, both from London, were identified by officers as being the hosts of a neo-Nazi online podcast.

On the podcast, the pair aired their Islamophobic, homophobic, racist, antisemitic and misogynistic views, and on some occasions, they encouraged listeners to go out and commit acts of terrorist violence.

In particular, they glorified Brenton Tarrant, who went on a shooting spree in 2019 when he killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The investigation found that Gibbons had also created an online library containing hundreds of extreme right-wing texts and other material.

The content in the online library and podcast was assessed, and some of the material was found to be in breach of terrorism legislation. They were subsequently arrested in May 2021.

They were both convicted of encouraging acts of terrorism following a trial at Kingston Crown Court which concluded on July 7.

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Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Gibbons and Patten-Walsh thought that the fact they were airing their hateful views and advocating terrorist acts in plain sight, on a radio and podcast platform, somehow gave them some legitimacy and meant they wouldn’t face any consequences.

“They were wrong, and both our investigation and a jury has found that they sought to encourage terrorism in how they expressed their abhorrent extreme right-wing views.

“During the course of the investigation, detectives reviewed hundreds of hours of material, and the result of their work was the compelling case that was presented at court which has resulted in their convictions.

“If you come across extremist content online, report it to police and we will act. Information from the public is vitally important in our fight against terrorism.”

Officers discovered that the pair had produced 21 episodes of the podcast. Gibbons’ neo-Nazi online library was found by officers to have held more than 500 videos of extreme right-wing-related speeches and propaganda documents. It had nearly 1,000 subscribers, and the content had been viewed more than 152,000 times.

The videos and files were analysed by a team of specialist officers from the Met’s specialist Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) and they assessed that they were in breach of terrorism legislation.

In amongst them, officers identified seven videos and a further document that, as well as containing extremist views, contained particular imagery, rhetoric or information that encouraged others to carry out terrorist acts.

Both men went on trial for eight counts of encouraging acts of terrorism (contrary to section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006) – each count relates to a different podcast episode. Gibbons also went on trial for two counts of dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

They were found guilty of all charges.

Gibbons and Patten-Walsh have been remanded in custody to be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on September 26.

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