A 14-year-old boy was arrested in Blackburn, Northern England on Saturday in connection with a suspected ANZAC Day terror attack planned for Melbourne, Australia. Officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit and the Lancashire Constabulary originally arrested the boy on April 2nd after inspection of a number of electronic devices.
On discovery of the communications between the boy and a man in Australia, the boy was re-arrested on Saturday in connection with what the police have described as a “credible terrorist threat” as part of Operation Rising a Joint Counter Terrorism Team operation.
Police did not comment on the nature of the communications stating that they were “currently under full assessment and subject to investigation.” Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Mole, from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit confirmed that they were: “continuing to work closely with the police in Australia and Lancashire and I want to reassure the public that we have not uncovered an imminent attack in the UK and there is no immediate threat towards the communities of Lancashire, the North West and the UK.”
Police in Australia are currently holding two men who are suspected of plotting an Islamic State-style terror attack to kill law enforcement officers with knives and swords on ANZAC Day in Melbourne.
ANZAC Day, which takes place on April 25th, is a national holiday in Australia and New Zealand originally founded to commemorate the soldiers the countries lost at the battle of Gallipoli while fighting the Ottoman Empire in 1915. There are set to be unprecedented levels of security at the commemorations in Melbourne, which include a dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
Both the UK and Australia have seen a growing number of young Muslim men raised in the countries leaving to join the jihadi group Islamic State, with both countries governments struggling to stem the flow of would be jihadists to the region. These suspected attacks form part of a growing trend amongst Islamic extremists across the west targeting law enforcement officers and the military.