1 Oct 2015

Teenage terrorist planner awaits sentencing for Anzac day plot

A teenager in the North of England became wired into the Isis network to the point that he orchestrated a plot from his bedroom to massacre police officers 10 thousand miles away in Australia.

The boy pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism overseas in July. As a two-day sentencing hearing began, Manchester Crown Court heard how he conspired to carry out terrorist acts abroad in what the prosecution described as a “unique crime”.

At the age of 14 the teenager was placed on the Government’s de-radicalisation programme, the Channel project, but it failed to draw him away from extremism, and on a number of occasions he threatened to behead his teachers.

The boy described the programme as a “waste of time”, and saw killing as justified the court was told.

By March 2015, the court heard, the teenager had become “thoroughly and dangerously radicalised” and had disengaged from the Channel process. Teaching staff at his school had become increasingly concerned for their own personal safety.

The court was told the boy used social media to try to influence Isis sympathisers in France, Canada, South Africa and London to carry out “lone wolf” attacks, or to travel to Syria.

He communicated with one woman in the United States encouraging her children, when grown up, to conduct martyrdom operations, saying “Let ur kids grow! Lols….then booooom”.

The prosecution said he also set a dangerous partnership with an alleged Isis supporter in Melbourne, Sevdet Besim.

They exchanged 3,000 messages in nine days, as the boy from Blackburn planned a major terrorist plot in Melbourne on Anzac Day to behead a number of police officers.

At one stage the boy suggested to Besim he should “break into someone’s house and get your first taste of beheading”.

On 24th March, the court was told, the two ran through their plans, with the boy emphasising he was in charge.

Besim “so far the plan is to run a cop over on the Anzac parade and then continue to kill a cop…and run to shahadah (martyrdom)”
Boy: “I’ll give the orders soon but it’s looking that way”

The prosecution told the court a major terrorist plot had been thwarted. He (the boy) was convinced a massacre would take place and that he would become notorious.

Giving evidence at court a probation officer said that the boy had shown no remorse for his actions.

Sentence will be passed on Friday.

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