Terrorism swoop on Burnley computer addict: man (21) in court

Niall Florence who was spared jail at the Old Bailey for collecting a record of information for terrorist purposes (s)
Niall Florence who was spared jail at the Old Bailey for collecting a record of information for terrorist purposes (s)

A BURNLEY computer addict who sold copies of the Anarchist’s Cookbook on ebay was spared jail but ordered to spend less time online.

Niall Florence (21) auctioned off digital copies of the terror manual to raise extra cash. Twenty-five customers paid £1 to have the explosives guide burned to CD-ROM and posted to them.

The defendant, who used the nickname “Metal Nail” was caught out when one customer had his copy sent to the address of a friend, who called police. When officers swooped on his parents’ home, in St Cuthbert Street, Burnley, they found five more terror manuals and extreme right-wing propaganda on two computers in a bedroom where Florence spent most of his time. He admitted a string of terrorist offences, but was spared jail after a judge said he was satisfied Florence posed no threat to the public.

Mr Justice Fulford said: “This defendant is a young and naive computer addict. I accept he has no terrorist connections or interests.

“He has not been radicalised or indoctrinated or groomed by others – he simply hoped to make some money.”

Florence was handed an 18-month jail term, suspended for a year, during which time he will be supervised by the probation service. He had admitted five counts of collecting a record of information for terrorist purposes and one count of disseminating terrorist publications.

He advertised the 2000 edition of the Anarchist’s Cookbook on ebay on August 2nd 2011. The guide, originally published in 1971, contains step-by-step bomb recipes as well as information on lock-picking and credit card fraud.

Florence charged just £1 for each copy and had made 25 sales by the time police swooped in December.

There they found publications entitled “Expedient Homemade Firearms,” “Black Medicine: The Dark Art of Death” and “21 Techniques of Silent Killing.”

Also uncovered was an Al Qaeda jihadist manual containing instructions on killing techniques and the manufacture of ricin. Right-wing propaganda including a copy of “Mein Kampf” was also on a computer belonging to Florence.

He also sold manuals on innocuous subjects including bee-keeping, the court was told.

The court heard Florence still lived with his parents and had been working until a telecoms engineer until his arrest.