Teen, 15, jailed for five years for terror plot
Britain’s youngest person convicted of terrorism was sentenced on Friday (Oct 2) to a minimum of five years in jail for plotting an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-inspired “massacre” on an Anzac Day parade in Australia.
The boy, nicknamed “the terrorist” by his classmates, was only 14 when he masterminded the plot to behead police officers at a memorial event in Melbourne.
He worked on the plot from his bedroom in Lancashire, northern England.
He was handed a life sentence at Manchester Crown Court but may be released after five years under the terms of the ruling.
The teenager, now 15, incited alleged Australian jihadist Sevdet Besim to carry out a “major terrorist plot” which had reached its “late stages” before being thwarted by police, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Passing down the sentence judge Justice Saunders said: “Had the authorities not intervened, (the defendant) would have continued to play his part hoping and intending that the outcome would be the deaths of a number of people.”
Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter terrorism at Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, said the planned attack on the national day of mourning for Australia and New Zealand’s military dead was “shocking in its brutality and scope”.
Besim, 18, is awaiting trial in Australia next year.
The pair exchanged more than 3,000 encrypted messages as they forged the plan.
The defendant — who played the role of “organiser and adviser” — hailed Besim’s choice of weapon as “perfect for tearing through throat”, jurors heard.