A 14 year-old boy from Blackburn is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ court today on charges of inciting terrorism in Australia. The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of inciting two 18-year-old men in Australia to commit ISIS-style terror attacks at ANZAC day celebrations.
It is believed that the boy is the youngest person ever charged with terrorism offences in the UK. He is accused of inciting one person to kill or seriously injure numerous people at the celebrations and inciting another to decapitate someone in Australia. The boy was originally arrested on April 2nd and then rearrested on April 18th after the Lancashire Constabulary and Counter Terrorism Officers examined several electronic devices.
The attacks were targeted at the ANZAC day celebrations in Melbourne due to take place on Saturday. The Australian national holiday is of particular significance this year as it is commemorating the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War in which over 8,500 Australian troops die fighting the Ottoman Empire.
Two 18-year-old men are currently under investigation by police Melbourne and are due to appear in court again next week. Last week, the Victorian Supreme court heard that both men had been in contact with 14 year-old from Blackburn and screenshots from online conversations between the boy and one of the men were used as evidence.
Security at the ANZAC day celebrations in Melbourne is expected to be the highest level the event has ever seen. Police officers marching in the event have for the first time in its history been ordered to wear “full kit” including handguns, pepper spray and batons as part of the heightened security measures.