‘Absolutely Did The Right Thing’: 19-Year-Old Sentenced To Life After Mother Turned Him In


Font Size:

A British teen was sentenced to life in prison June 2 after his mother turned him in to counter-terror authorities after he became radicalized by the Islamic state online, the Associated Press reported.

Matthew King, 19, must serve a minimum of six years of his life sentence after being convicted of preparation of terror acts, the Associated Press reported. King expressed a desire to kill British and American military personnel, claiming he wanted to “die a martyr,” after being radicalized by the Islamic State during Covid lockdowns, The Guardian reported.

King’s mother contacted authorities after noticing a marked change in her son’s behavior, telling authorities he was watching videos that promoted hatred online, BBC News reported. “She took the very bold step of alerting Prevent when she had concerns for her son,” Judge Mark Lucraft said during sentencing.

“That cannot have been an easy thing to do in the first place, and in my view she absolutely did the right thing,” Lucraft stated, according to the AP. (RELATED: Michigan Man Convicted Of Joining ISIS, Training In Terrorist Tactics)

After King was also reported to authorities through an anti-terror hotline after he posted a video on a WhatsApp group in April, 2022, he was placed under police surveillance, the AP noted. King’s social media posts began displaying pictures of police officers emblazoned with the words, “Target Acquired,” further concerning authorities, according to BBC News. When a security camera caught King filming outside an army barracks in London in May 2022, law enforcement officials arrested him the next day, according to The Guardian. He later plead guilty to the charges.

“We had seen an escalation in Matthew King’s behaviour, in his reconnaissance, in his online activity. I genuinely believe this was an imminent terrorist attack. Without the public’s help and without the efficient investigation of my officers, officers from the eastern region and members of the intelligence community, we wouldn’t have been able to disrupt what, for me, was an imminent attack,” Metropolitan Police Commander Dominic Murphy stated, according to The Guardian.

During his sentencing, Lucraft told King that when the minimum six year sentence has been served, the parole board would determine whether or not he would be eligible for release. If that determination is made, Lucraft warned, it didn’t mean King was free as he would “remain on licence and liable to recall for the rest of his life,” BBC reported.

“In my judgement you are someone where there is a significant risk to members of the public or serious harm,” Lucraft told King, according to the outlet.