The 17-year-old who plotted a terrorist attack on a Justin Bieber concert a month after the Manchester Arena bombing has been sentenced to life in prison. He will serve 11 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. As The Guardian reports, Lloyd Gunton was planning an Islamic State-inspired attack on the Bieber gig in Cardiff, going as far as to write a “martyrdom letter.” It’s worth noting that the teen is white, suffers from an Autism spectrum disorder, and was an A-student.
When police raided the Gunton’s south Wales home, they found a claw hammer and a gutting knife in his backpack. The judge in the case called the items a “terrorist kit.” Also, the letter Gunton wrote 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.”
Gunton denied all the charges against him, including preparing for an act of terrorism, two charges of possessing editions of an Isis propaganda magazine, and two charges of encouraging terrorism online. He told the court that he had no intention of carrying out the attack, nor did he actually believe in Islam. Instead, Gunton said, “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 radicalization. I wanted to see if it was possible, not for me, but from someone else’s point of view.” His attorney compared the teen's fascination with Isis to rubberneckers on a highway. “He was drawn into it, curiosity getting the better of him,” said Gunton’s attorney.
The judge, Mark Wall QC, disagreed. “I am sure that you planned not just the killing of one person but rather mass murder. In my judgment I must pass an indeterminate sentence. Your actions show a total disregard for human life. I cannot foresee a time when I can be confident that your danger will have ended or decreased sufficiently to enable me to pass a determinate or extended sentence,” he said.