News Australasia

Friday 9 December 2016

Teen who planned to behead police officer in IS-inspired Anzac Day attack sentenced

Published 05/09/2016 | 06:34

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, center, talks with visitors after the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, northern France, on Anzac Day, Monday, April 25, 2016
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, center, talks with visitors after the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, northern France, on Anzac Day, Monday, April 25, 2016
Sir Peter Cosgrove (2nd L), Governor-General of the commonwealth of Australia waves as he poses with Austarlian soldiers during the dawn service to mark the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) commemoration ceremony at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

A teenager who plotted to run over and behead a police officer as part of an Islamic State movement-inspired attack on an Australian Veterans' Day ceremony was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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Sevdet Besim, 19, had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison after pleaded guilty in Victoria state's Supreme Court in June to one count of planning for a terrorist act.

On Monday, the court instead ordered Besim to serve a 10-year prison term.

Prosecutors said Besim was involved in a plot to attack last year's services in Melbourne or the neighbouring city of Dandenong marking Anzac Day, the annual commemoration of the 1915 Gallipoli landings in Turkey.

The campaign was the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the First World War and hundreds of thousands of people attend commemoration services around Australia.

Police said Besim was motivated by an extremist ideology and had expressed support for the Islamic State group.

In court documents, prosecutors said that Besim and a British accomplice had also discussed packing a kangaroo with explosives and painting it with the IS symbol before setting it loose on Australian police officers. The documents do not suggest the alleged kangaroo plot was linked to the Anzac Day plot.

Last year, a British court sentenced a 15-year-old boy from Blackburn, in north-western England, for his role in the plot.

A war veteran gives a high five to a boy as he participates in the annual Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) parade in Sydney, Australia, Monday, April 25, 2016. ANZAC Day began as a commemoration of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops in Gallipoli in 1915 but has evolved into a National day of remembrance for all who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
A war veteran gives a high five to a boy as he participates in the annual Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) parade in Sydney, Australia, Monday, April 25, 2016. ANZAC Day began as a commemoration of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops in Gallipoli in 1915 but has evolved into a National day of remembrance for all who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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