IS-inspired teenager in Austria faces terrorism charges

Vienna, March 31: A 14-year-old boy, enamoured with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation, has been charged in Austria with forming a terrorist group and downloading bomb-making plans with the intention to commit a terrorist offence, media reported on Monday.

The teenager, referred to as "Merkan G", is accused by the St. Poelten city prosecutor's office of downloading plans on the internet for the construction of a bomb, which he then planned to detonate at either the Wien Westbahnhof railway station in Vienna, or along the tracks leading to it, Xinhua reported citing the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.

Islamic State

According to prosecutor office spokesperson Michaela Obenaus, authorities found "countless" IS propaganda photos and videos of beheadings, torture, mass executions on the accused teenager's laptop.

According to the teenager himself, he planned to travel to Syria to take part in IS activities, and is believed to have persuaded a 12-year-old boy to join him.

A psychological report on the teenager claims that he came to Austria, with his parents, as an asylum seeker in 2007, but his father was deported. Psychologists said that the boy was deeply radicalised and defended his beliefs.

He was first arrested last year, before being released in November on the condition that he regularly reported to the police, attended school and undertook psychological counselling.

After disappearing in January, he was later found and arrested once again and has been in custody in St. Poelten ever since. Court proceedings are set to begin in May.


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