Rhianan Rudd charged with terrorism was radicalized online: documentary

0
30
Rhianan Rudd charged with terrorism was radicalized online: documentary

A British teen terror suspect who took her own life last year was groomed and radicalized online by American white supremacists before her arrest in 2020, a new documentary alleges.

Rhianan Rudd — who at age 14 was the youngest women to ever be charged with terrorism in the United Kingdom — fell under the spell of a pair of US extremists and even exchanged sexually charged messages with one, according to reports.

Despite this, British officials threw the book at Rudd for downloading plans for how to make a bomb — leading her mom to argue in a new documentary, “Groomed, Radicalized, Gone,” that the autistic youngster was further abused by the law.

“They should have seen her as a victim rather than a terrorist,” mom Emily Carter lamented, according to the BBC.

“She’s a child, an autistic child. She should have been treated as a child that had been groomed and sexually exploited.”

The charges were abandoned in Dec. 2021 — but Rudd was so distraught by the experience she died by suicide in a care home in May 2022, her mom said.

Rudd was allegedly radicalized after she began talking online with American neo-Nazi Christopher Cook. The mom said Rudd — who would wind up carving a swastika into her forehead — soaked up the radical message like a sponge.

Rhianan Rudd was groomed and exploited online, and arrested at  age 14.
Rhianan Rudd was groomed and exploited online, a new documentary alleges.
Family handout

“[She thought] if you didn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes- Aryan as they say — she didn’t want to know you, you were an inferior race, you shouldn’t have been alive,” Carter told the BBC.

In Sept. 2020, Carter placed Rudd in Prevent, a government de-radicalization program. 

Later, when questioned by police, Rudd described being emotionally and sexually manipulated by Cook.

The FBI had also retrieved the pair’s explicit exchanges from Cook’s devices, which they turned over to MI5, the UK’s domestic security agency. 

Christopher Cook manipulated Rudd online.
Christopher Cook allegedly manipulated Rudd online.
Montgomery County Sheriff

But while modern slavery laws stipulate that certain public bodies must notify the Home Office about possible cases of exploitation, the BBC found that no such report was ever made on Rudd’s behalf before official charges were filed.

The reports said that Rudd was also radicalized by a man named Dax Mallaburn, who was both allegedly a flame of the teen’s mom, and a member of the Arizona Aryan Brotherhood, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

While Carter said that she and Mallaburn broke up before Rudd’s arrest, the BBC’s investigation revealed that the pair had been in contact, with Mallaburn urging Carter to teach her daughter the “right way.” 

Though the Home Office eventually dropped the charges against Rudd based on the evidence that she was groomed, Carter told BBC that her daughter’s mental health suffered under the weight of her legal woes. 

Dax Mallaburn was in a relationship with Rudd's mother, Emily Carter.
Dax Mallaburn was in a relationship with Rudd’s mother, Emily Carter.
Facebook / Dax Mallaburn

Barred from attending school, Rudd resorted to self-harm, running away, and attempted suicide. Social services moved her into care in Nottinghamshire.

On a visit just days before her daughter’s death, Carter said she was so alarmed by her appearance that she warned the care home staff that Rudd was “going to do something.” Despite reassurances that her concerns would be followed up, Rudd was subsequently found dead by hanging at age 16 — 12 hours after she retired to her room for the night.

The MI5 deferred responsibility for the tragedy in a statement to the BBC.

“MI5 takes its responsibilities in relation to those who may be at risk of harm very seriously,” a government spokesperson said.

Emily Carter, right, with her daughter Rhianan Rudd.
Emily Carter, right, with her daughter Rhianan Rudd.
Family handout

“If in the course of work to protect national security someone in MI5 obtains information that an individual is or may become at risk of death or serious harm, this will be passed to the relevant authorities.”

An inquest into Rudd’s death is set to take place, but has not yet been scheduled.

Source link