A 14-YEAR-OLD British boy has been charged with inciting an attack on an Anzac Day parade in Australia and inciting a beheading.
The teenager was arrested in Blackburn in Lancashire in connection with an alleged plan to stage an attack at events to mark the centenary of the First World War Anzac landings.
We have authorised charges for a 14-year-old maleDeborah Walsh
He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today accused of two offences of inciting terrorism overseas.
Deborah Walsh, deputy head of counter terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Following an investigation by police in the north-west counter terrorism unit, we have today authorised charges for a 14-year-old male of two offences of inciting terrorism overseas, contrary to section 59 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
“The first allegation is that, between 15 and 26 March 2015, the defendant incited another person to commit an act of terrorism, namely to carry out an attack at an Anzac parade in Australia with the aim of killing and/or causing serious injury to people. The second allegation is that, on 18 March 2015, the defendant incited another person to behead someone in Australia.
“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.”
The teenager was held on Saturday on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism. He was first arrested on 2 April but then detained again.
Counter-terrorism officers in Australia arrested two teenagers on Saturday on suspicion of planning an attack at an Anzac Day ceremony in Melbourne. The plot is alleged to have involved targeting police officers. The annual Anzac Day ceremonies – commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’ First World War battle in Gallipoli on 25 April – take on extra significance this year as the centenary of the conflict in Turkey is marked.
The Australian police operation saw five men arrested in all.
Greater Manchester Police said yesterday: “A 14-year-old boy who can’t be named for legal reasons has been charged with two counts of inciting another person to commit an act of terrorism overseas. The boy will be appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow. On 2 April 2015, following the examination of a number of electronic devices, the north-west counter terrorism unit and officers from Lancashire Constabulary executed a warrant at an address in Blackburn, Lancashire.
“Officers from north-west counter terrorism unit uncovered communication between a teenager in Blackburn and a man in Australia.”