Two men who came together online to 'promote their shared extreme right wing mind-set' have been sentenced for terrorism offences, Sussex Police has revealed.
Police said Gabriele Longo, 26, of Burdock Close, Crawley, was given a six-year prison sentence, whilst 20-year-old Morgan Seales of Turner Avenue, South Shields was sentenced to four years on Wednesday (October 23).
A police spokesman said: "They were both found guilty of encouraging terrorism, possessing material for terrorist purposes and collecting or making a record of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.
"The jury at Leeds Crown Court convicted the men on Monday (October 21). Longo was also found guilty of disseminating terrorist publications."
The arrests of Longo and Seales followed an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East (CTPNE), supported by CTP South East (CTPSE), Northumbria Police and Sussex Police.
Chief Inspector Shane Baker, District Commander for Crawley and Mid-Sussex said: "Sussex Police worked closely with the Counter-Terrorist investigators to support their operation which was intelligence-led and not in response to any specific threat to our local area.
"We always ask anyone who may have suspicions about someone's behaviour, or unusual activity, which they believe may be related to terrorism, to contact us via www.gov.uk/ACT. Of course, if you suspect an immediate danger, whether it’s suspicious behaviour, a package or a vehicle, move away and call 999."
Police revealed that Seales was arrested after concerns were raised about his online activity, which subsequently led to the arrest of Longo.
The spokesman said: "He [Seales] was arrested by CTPNE detectives in March this year, and, following the granting of a warrant of further detention, was charged in April.
"Following examination of Seales’ mobile phone, a further person (Longo) was identified as having posted concerning material online. As a result, Longo was arrested in early April by CTPNE detectives and was subsequently charged."
Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of Counter Terrorism Policing in the North East, said Longo 'went as far as encouraging others to carry out despicable acts' under the 'banner of the extreme right wing ideology'.
He continued: "It is apparent from the examination of both individuals’ mobile phones that they regularly participated in online chats and made postings that reflect their extreme right wing beliefs, their beliefs developing and evolving over time through research and connecting with like-minded individuals.
“With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism.
“Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is encouraging communities across the country to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity, including the posting and sharing of material of concern you may have seen online.
“Every day, officers from the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit trawl the Internet, looking for extremist material but thousands of reports each year come from members of the public who flag up their concerns regarding online posts.
“If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or, in an emergency, dial 999.”
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