Follow Metropolitan Police

Man who ran far-right chat groups pleads guilty to 16 terrorism offences

News   •   May 15, 2021 08:00 BST

Michael Nugent

A man who shared explosives and firearms manuals while expressing his far-right views online has been convicted of terrorism offences.

Michael Nugent, 37 (19/06/1983) of Ashford, Surrey, ran and was active on a number of extreme right wing chat groups on the Telegram app.

He used different personas in the chat rooms, and expressed his racist views and hatred of ethnic minorities, and shared terrorist-related documents with others.

But the investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command linked the various online accounts to Nugent’s real-world identity and he was arrested and convicted as a result.

Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Nugent was an active member of internet chat rooms where he freely shared his abhorrent extremist views with others, and he passed on manuals detailing how to produce deadly weapons and explosive devices.

“However, he was stopped when he was arrested by counter terrorism officers. The police investigation unearthed a huge amount of incriminating evidence which forced Nugent to admit to his offences before trial.

“This is another case which shows how harmful online extremism is. That is why it is important that anyone who believes that they have a friend or loved one who has been or is vulnerable to radicalisation seeks help.

“The Counter Terrorism Command, with the national Counter Terrorism Policing network and other partners, work around the clock to bring the likes of Nugent to justice, root out harmful extremism online, and keep the public safe.”

As well as sharing manuals on how to make explosives and homemade firearms, he told the group members about how to deliver bombs as Amazon packages. He also published an edited video of the Christchurch Mosque terror attack.

Nugent was arrested on 19 August 2020. He was interviewed over seven days following his arrest, but gave no comment.

Nugent was initially charged with 12 Terrorism Act offences and first appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 25 August 2020. A further six charges were subsequently added.

Nugent pleaded not guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism, and these charges were ordered to lie on file.

At Kingston Crown Court on Thursday, 13 May, Nugent pleaded guilty to five counts of dissemination of terrorist publications (contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006); and 11 counts of possession of a document containing information likely to be useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism (contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000).

He is due to be sentenced on 23 June 2021.

Communities defeat terrorism, and information from the public is vital to counter terrorism investigations. If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious and think someone may be engaging in terrorist activity, trust your instincts and act by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or, in an emergency, dial 999.

Visit the ACT Early website at www.actearly.uk to find out how you can seek help and support for anyone who you suspect may be being radicalised.