Teen Given Life Sentence for Planning Terrorist Attack at Justin Bieber Concert
A 17-year-old boy named Lloyd Gunton was sentenced to life in jail after he planned a terrorist attack to take place at Justin Bieber‘s June 2017 Cardiff, U.K. concert, a month after the ISIS bombing that took place at Ariana Grande‘s concert in Manchester. The teen was found guilty of planning the attack back in November.
According to The Guardian, the teen wrote a “martyrdom letter” that read, “I am a soldier of the Islamic State. I have attacked Cardiff today because your government keep on bombing targets in Syria and Iraq. There will be more attacks in the future.”
This note was found when police officers raided his house on the day of the show. They also discovered a claw hammer and a gutting knife in his backpack and a note that included the bullet points “run down the non-believers with a car” and “strike the infidels who oppose Allah in the neck.”
“I sentence you on the basis that at the time of your arrest you were within hours of committing an act of atrocity on the streets of Cardiff,” Judge Mark Wall QC said at his sentencing hearing. “You were committed to carrying out the attack throughout a protracted period, a commitment best demonstrated by your martyrdom letter and open support for Isis on Instagram.”
He continued, “You were dedicated to the cause for approximately one year: this was no passing phase…You are at high risk of re-offending and if you do, you pose a high risk of causing the public serious harm.”
During the trial, the defendant told the jury he is not an ISIS soldier, but rather has a “stupid interest in the gory.”
“I wanted to see how easy it was for people who had an interest in terrorism to go online and get information, because the police and the government are trying to crack down on terrorism and radicalisation,” he explained at the time. “I wanted to see if it was possible, not for me, but from someone else’s point of view.”
Lloyd will have to serve a minimum of 11 years in prison before he’s up for the possibility of parole.