Laboratory Technician Convicted of Terrorism Offenses in the UK

Laboratory Technician Convicted of Terrorism Offenses in the UK

In a significant development in the UK’s fight against domestic terrorism, Charles Cannon, a 22-year-old laboratory technician from Aldershot, Hampshire, has been convicted of seven terrorism offenses. The verdict was delivered following a trial at Winchester Crown Court, with sentencing scheduled for February 2, 2024.

Arrest and Evidence

Cannon’s arrest followed an incident in August 2020 at Luton airport, where he was stopped under terrorism regulations. A search of his phone revealed a guide on making explosives. Further investigations led to the discovery of additional documents on Cannon’s devices and his home computer, including guides on homemade explosives, unconventional warfare devices, and booby traps.

Extremist Views and Online Activity

Ben Isaacs, prosecuting, detailed Cannon’s extremist views, including racist, antisemitic, and misogynistic messages shared on social media. Cannon, who has autism, reportedly posted an image of a Nazi salute and a flag with a swastika and skull, as well as messages advocating for a racial holy war. His online activity also showed enthusiasm for violence against asylum seekers and contained references to Brenton Tarrant, the perpetrator of the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Nazi Paraphernalia and White Supremacist Literature

Searches at Cannon’s residence uncovered a Nazi plaque and books on fascism and white supremacy, further corroborating his extremist leanings. Isaacs described Cannon as a young man with “extreme and disturbing political views” and a sympathizer of Nazism and fascism.

Defense Claims

In his defense, Cannon claimed that the files were downloaded as part of a larger cache from a file-sharing website, originally obtained in 2014 when he was 13. He stated his intent was to research methamphetamine production, influenced by the TV show “Breaking Bad.” Cannon admitted to previously holding “vile and disgusting” views but claimed his perspectives had shifted under the influence of his Brazilian wife, whom he married a year ago.

Implications of the Verdict

Cannon’s conviction raises concerns about the radicalization of young individuals and the accessibility of extremist and terrorist materials online. The case highlights the challenges faced by law enforcement in tackling the blend of online radicalization and real-world terrorism threats.


The conclusion of the trial marks a significant step in the UK’s ongoing efforts to combat domestic terrorism, with the focus shifting to Cannon’s sentencing in early 2024. The case serves as a reminder of the persistent threat posed by extremist ideologies and the importance of vigilance in the digital age.


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