Former counter-terrorism chief not surprised Britain's youngest terrorist can be freed

19 January 2021, 14:33

By Sam Sholli

An ex-counter-terrorism coordinator has told LBC he was "not particularly" surprised by the Parole Board allowing the youngest person convicted of a terrorism offence in the UK to be freed from prison.

The now 20-year-old from Blackburn, who plotted to murder police officers at the age of 14, will be released five years into a life sentence.

The 20-year-old, who may only be identified as RXG, sent encrypted messages inciting an Australian to launch attacks in 2015.

After saying he was "not particularly" surprised by the decision, Detective Chief Superintendent in Counter Terrorism Policing Nick Aldworth also said: "There will be very few children, if any others, I think in custody for terrorist-related matters.

"Therefore this individual is probably not moving inside a prison population where their radicalisation can continue or be made worse.

"And one would hope that they would have had much more energy and expertise [put] into de-radicalising them that isn't necessarily available to adult prisoners."

Speaking of the UK criminal age of responsibility, which stands at 10-year-olds, Mr Aldworth said: "There are a few, dare I say, despot countries that are actually a bit lower than ours."