17 yr old who plotted to kill Muslims in mosque jailed for 10 years

Joe Metcalf. Pic: CT Police

A 17 year old far-right terrorist who planned to murder Muslims in a mosque has been sentenced to 10 years in jail. 

Joe Metcalfe was found guilty on March 30 by a jury at Leeds Crown Court of Preparing for an Act of Terrorism for extreme right wing purposes.

And on Friday he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for a total of eleven offences, including one offence of Preparing an Act of Terrorism and three offences of Rape.

Metcalfe, from Haworth in West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to six further offences including four offences of Disseminating Terrorist Publications, one offence of Encouragement of Terrorism and one offence of Possessing a Bladed Article.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, told Metcalfe: “You failed to persuade the jury this was all just make believe, a fantasy. They were sure you intended to attack a mosque and kill people worshipping there.”

She added that Metcalfe recently told a probation officer preparing a pre-sentence report that he had converted to Islam. He told them: “I’m really sorry about what I have done, I’m no longer a threat to anyone. I’m Muslim,” the court heard.

Counter terror officers arrested Metcalf in June 2022. His digital search history showed his crude extreme right-wing mindset and that he idolised convicted international terrorists.

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Head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, Nick Price said: “Although he spent time watching and sharing violent, racist, homophobic and antisemitic videos, these were not idle fantasies. He made a detailed plan to murder Muslims at a nearby mosque while disguised as an armed police officer, record the killings and escape.

“He stole his father’s car to carry out a reconnaissance mission, contacted a gun seller to try and secretly ship a weapon to the UK, and but for apprehension intended to carry out the attack.

“Despite his young age his beliefs and willingness to take violent action to propagate them are a threat to our society, and it is right that he has been sentenced today for those crimes.”

Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North- East, Detective Chief Superintendent James Dunkerley said: “We are satisfied that this individual acted in isolation and our quick response prevented this escalating further. We have successfully worked alongside partners to ensure that this individual has been brought to justice.

“I hope this provides yet another example of how robustly we will deal with this type of behaviour and these actions. It will not be tolerated. If you are worried about someone you know expressing extreme views or hatred, then please trust your instincts and ACT Early to prevent people becoming involved in terrorism. I cannot stress that enough and you will not be wasting our time.”

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