Wednesday 18 October 2017

15-year-old charged with terrorism offences in Australia

Heavily armed police officers detain a man during early morning raids in western Sydney, Australia
Heavily armed police officers detain a man during early morning raids in western Sydney, Australia

Jonathan Pearlman

Australian police have charged a group of males, including a 15-year-old school student, over a terror plot targeting a government building.

Police said the potential targets of the plot included the headquarters of the Australian Federal Police in Sydney, Australia's largest city, as well as randomly chosen civilians.

The arrests follow numerous attacks by young radicals targeting police in Australia. These include the shooting in October of a police employee outside a police building in Sydney by Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed during the incident.

The teenage alleged Islamic extremist arrested yesterday had reportedly been under police surveillance for a year and was allegedly involved in a plot uncovered by police in December 2014, when he was just 14.

He was seized with a 20-year-old man during early-morning police raids in Sydney.

Police said the latest plot did not appear to have been ordered by terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), but that the group of men were linked to the people behind the October attack.

Three other men who were already in custody on terrorism-related offences, were also charged later yesterday as part of the same operation.

"It's disturbing that we're continuing to see teenage children in this environment," said New South Wales police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn.

She added: "We don't know how the 15-year-old has got to the point where we will allege he got."

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