Bel pleaded ‘not guilty’ throughout the trialLinkedin

Content note: This article contains detailed discussion of terrorism and anti-semitism, and mentions of homophobia and violent intentions.

Oliver Bel, a former mathematics student at the University of Cambridge, was found guilty of a terror offence yesterday (22/04) and will subsequently face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

After three hours of discussion, the jury at the trial, taking place at Manchester Crown Court, unanimously decided that he was guilty of possessing the so-called “anarchist cookbook”, ten days after the trial began on April 12.

Bel was originally on trial on two charges: his possession of a bomb-making manual and his comments in 2017 that extermination was the “best option” for Jewish people.

Bel is reported to have had no reaction as the verdict was announced in Court yesterday (22/04), having pleaded ’not guilty’ throughout the trial.

His possession of the so-called ‘Anarchist Cookbook,’ was said by Prosecutor John Allman to contain instructions on how to make two “highly explosive” substances.

Mr Bel’s defence lawyer Abigail Bright told the court in response that his possession of the text was due to “academic interest.”


Mountain View

Cambridge graduate appears in court over possession of ‘Anarchist Cookbook’

He was indicted under Section 58 of the 2000 Terrorism Act, which concerns the possession of information and documents that “may be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.”

Over the past ten days, the court has heard of Bel’s extreme right-wing views which he has previously expressed in a series of Facebook posts. Bel was not convicted as a direct result of these comments, however. 

These posts included references to Jews as “parasites,” expressions of a desire to “go on a killing spree,” and descriptions of homosexuality as “perverse and unnatural.”

The comments made via social media were found by one of the mathematics graduate’s tutors at Cambridge, who brought the comments to the attention of Cambridge’s Anti-Terrorism Unit.