Ben John, 21, of Addison Drive, Lincoln, was found guilty by a unanimous jury vote jury at Leicester Crown Court of one count of possessing a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act.
John had become part of the Extreme Right Wing (XRW) online - the term for activists who commit criminal activity motivated by a political or cultural view point encompassing racism, extreme nationalism, fascism and Neo Nazism, and was studying Criminology with Psychology in Leicester when he was arrested.
During his trial, it emerged that forensic computer investigators found a hard drive in his possession containing diagrams and instructions on how to construct various explosive devices originating from the 1970s, as well as 67,788 documents containing white supremacist and anti-Semitic material and material related to a Satanist organisation.
The material was saved in bulk downloads on hard drives, one of which was found hidden inside a sock when police officers searched his home.
Counter Terrorism Policing East Midlands (CTP EM) Detective Inspector James Manning who led the investigation in partnership with regional and national agencies, said: “This was a young man who could be anyone’s son, studying at university, and living one life in public, while conducting another in private.
“He possessed a wealth of National Socialist and anti-Semitic material which indicated a fascination and belief in a White Supremacist ideology along with support for an extreme satanic group which is increasingly of concern for law enforcement agencies.
“The terrorist material he was found in possession of is extremely dangerous, and he acquired this to further his ideology. It indicates the threat that he and other followers of this hateful ideology pose to National Security.
"It was not light reading, or material most would concern themselves with for legitimate reasons. This has been a long and complex investigation over the course of 11 months.”
The judge said this was John’s “last chance”, and commended the investigating team on their work.