Teen Found Guilty Of Plotting Terror Attack At A Justin Bieber Concert Says He Wasn't Serious

A U.K. teen was found guilty on Monday for plotting an unexecuted terror attack during a Justin Bieber concert in Wales on June 30, according to The Guardian.
The unnamed 17-year-old was reportedly inspired by ISIS and penned a "martyrdom letter" in which he decried the U.K.'s involvement in Syria and Iraq, called himself "a soldier of the Islamic State," and promised the world would see "more attacks in the future."
According to The Guardian, the teen, who is white, claimed during the trial that he didn't actually practice Islam and simply possessed a "stupid interest in the gory."
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"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," The Guardian reports the teen said to the court. "I wanted to see if it was possible, not for me but from someone else's point of view."
His explanation wasn't enough to convince the court of his innocence, especially after they'd learned he'd written another note detailing ways to kill large numbers of people, such as driving a car through a crowd. In addition to researching ISIS ideologies, The Guardian reports the teen had a knife and a hammer in his school bag, had communicated with someone on Instagram about terrorist attacks, and had specifically looked into Bieber's concert security.
Based on his reported internet research, the teen was inspired by a number of terrorist events, possibly including the May 22 bombing at the Manchester Arena, which killed 22 people and injured dozens of others.
Plots and attacks on massive public events are becoming unnervingly common across the world. In October, more than 50 people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, leaving many here in the States to wonder if they'd ever be safe attending a similar event in the future.
Such vitriolic acts can be carried out by anyone, regardless of race or creed. Sadly, people are already using this tragic story to perpetuate Islamophobia online. It doesn't matter whether the teen was Muslim or not; to suggest that acts of terrorism can only be carried out by people who practice Islam is utterly inaccurate.
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The teen will be sentenced in January 2018. For now, many Bieber fans are expressing their gratitude that they are home safe.
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