A 14-year-old schoolboy has become Britain’s youngest terror suspect after being at the centre of an alleged Isil-inspired plot to slaughter police in Australia.
Detectives investigating the youngster, from Blackburn, Lancashire, found evidence on his computer or phone of an imminent plan by fanatics in Melbourne for a terror outrage during Anzac Day celebrations this Saturday.
The boy was first arrested on April 2 as part of an investigation by officers from the NWCTU, which is based with Greater Manchester Police, and a 16-year-old girl from Manchester was also arrested. The pair were questioned on suspicion of preparing a terror act but police have refused to say what that initial investigation centred on.
However, as officers examined the boy’s electronic devices they unearthed communications with an Australian man that suggested an imminent attack in Melbourne.
It led to police there launching “Operation Rising” which saw the arrest of five men, all aged 18 or 19.
Police insiders claim the men were planning to run over a police officer with a car before killing him with a knife and going on a shooting rampage with his gun.
It was believed to have been planned for Anzac Day on April 25, which this year was t mark the centenary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’ First World War battle in Gallipoli, Turkey.
The Blackburn boy, believed to be a British Muslim of Asian descent from the Audley area, was rearrested on Saturday on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
He is the youngest Briton to be arrested for such offences but police said there was no suggestion of an imminent threat to the UK.
DCS Mole said: “It is not healthy that we have people of this age involved in this kind of incident.” And at what age would plotting jihad be ‘healthy’?
Of the five arrested in Melbourne, an 18-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts. Two men, aged 18 and 19, have been released pending further inquiries, while another 18-year-old has been released but police expect him to be charged with weapons offences. A further 18-year-old remains in custody.