British teenage boy remanded over Australia terror plot

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London, Apr 24: A 14-year-old boy, believed to be the youngest person in the UK to be charged with terror offences, has been remanded to custody for inciting terrorism in Australia.

The boy from Blackburn, in the north-west of England, who was arrested earlier this month, appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court today.

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The boy is believed to be the youngest person to be charged with terrorism offences in the UK to date. He is accused of inciting another person to carry out an attack at an Anzac Day event with the aim of killing or seriously injuring people.

He is also accused of inciting another person to behead someone in Australia. He was charged after officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit and Lancashire Constabulary executed a search of an address in Blackburn on April 2.

Officers had examined a number of electronic devices, and uncovered communication between a teenager in Blackburn and a man in Australia, said a statement from Greater Manchester Police.

Australian police had confirmed the UK arrest was linked to the arrest of five teenagers in Melbourne over alleged plans to target police at an Anzac memorial.

In a joint statement, Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police said they "can confirm a link between the arrest of a 14-year-old boy in Blackburn, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom with Operation Rising, a Joint Counter Terrorism Team operation."

"Following an investigation by police in the Northwest Counter Terrorism Unit, we have authorised charges for a 14-year-old male of two offences of inciting terrorism overseas, contrary to section 59 of the Terrorism Act 2000," said Deborah Walsh, deputy head of counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

"The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest," said Walsh.

Anzac Day is commemorated on April 25 in memory of Australian and New Zealand soldiers who have died in World War I and this year marks 100 years since that day.

PTI

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