Britain's youngest terrorist who plotted to murder police on Anzac Day can be freed, say Parole Board

Martin Evans
·2 min read
A mailbox is decorated with Australia's national flags and poppies flowers during the Anzac Day - Saeed Khan/AFP
A mailbox is decorated with Australia's national flags and poppies flowers during the Anzac Day - Saeed Khan/AFP

Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist and the only extremist to be granted lifelong anonymity, has been approved for release from prison after serving just five years of a life sentence.

The 20-year-old from Blackburn in Lancashire was just 14 when he admitted urging a fellow jihadist to murder police officers in Australia during an Anzac Day parade in Melbourne.

With his true identity shrouded in secrecy, the teenager - who is known only as RXG - was jailed for life in October 2015 after admitting inciting terrorism overseas.

It later emerged that he had been placed on the Government’s de-radicalistion programme at the age of just 13 after he made jihadist threats to fellow pupils at school and spoke of his desire to become a martyr.

But after completing the recommended minimum five year tariff of his sentence the Parole Board has approved his release.

A court ruling two years ago means like the killers of toddler James Bulger, he will enjoy anonymity for the rest of his life and his identity can never be revealed.

Parole Board documents detailing the reasons behind the decision stated: "After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in detention, and the evidence presented at the hearings, the panel was satisfied that RXG was suitable for release.”

At his sentencing hearing in October 2015, the court heard how he had been recruited online by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) propagandist Abu Khaled al-Cambodi.

Over nine days he sent thousands of messages to Sevdet Besim, 18, and Australian jihadist, instructing him to kill police officers at the remembrance parade in Melbourne.

As part of his release conditions he will have to live at a designated address, wear an electronic tag and attend regular appointments.

But there are concerns that his anonymity will make it more difficult for the community to keep an eye on him.

Dr Paul Stott, Research Fellow, Henry Jackson Society, said: “The idea of a convicted terrorist being granted life-long anonymity is baffling. Justice must be seen to be done.

“The support and engagement of the public is vital to counter-terrorism, and yet in this case we are not even allowed to know the name of a terrorist who tried to incite the murder of a police officer.

“If someone is dangerous enough at 14 to possess the drive and beliefs to commit such offences, and to receive a life sentence, the public will not understand how eventually serving just five years in prison is sufficient.

“At 20, this terrorist is not a child. But he is being treated with kid gloves by the Probation Service.”