A UK court has sentenced a 19-year-old teenager to eight years in prison for buying a car bomb on the Dark Web with the intention of killing his parents.
Officers of the UK National Crime Agency’s Armed Operations Unit (AOU) arrested Gurtej Randhawa of Wolverhampton in May last year.
Authorities say the teenager had ordered a bomb from a Dark Web portal, which he was supposed to receive via a postal package. Unbeknown to Randhawa, he tried to buy the explosive device from an undercover FBI agent selling the product on AlphaBay, a now-defunct Dark Web marketplace. The FBI alerted UK officials, who arranged the delivery of a dummy device.
Officers arrested Randhawa after he accepted the package and tried to test the device. Two other women, of 45 and 18, were also arrested at the same time but released without charges.
Murder planned after family dispute
Investigators said the suspect had no ties to terrorist groups. Randhawa told officers he was planning to use the car bomb to kill his parents.
Randhawa said his mother discovered he was having a relationship with a girl she disapproved of, and the boy feared his parents might force him to end the relationship.
In desperation, the teenager concocted a plan to buy a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) —aka a car bomb— and kill his parents so he could stay together with the girl his parents disapproved.
Suspect arrested after testing the device
“He denied he planned to use the explosives to cause injury but the CPS demonstrated to the jury that this was a lie and Randhawa was observed attempting to test his device before being arrested,” said Andy Young, from the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division.
“Randhawa had used the dark web in an attempt to avoid detection but instead he is now serving a significant prison sentence,” Young said.
Randhawa pleaded guilty to charges last November. He was sentenced on January 12, this year.