British Teen Is Sentenced To Life Over Terrorist Plot
A 15-year-old British teen has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he plotted to killed police officers at a military parade.
The New York Times reports that the teen, who was not named because of his age, will serve at least five years of that sentence.
The paper reports:
"Described as the 'organizer and adviser,' the teenager, from Blackburn, in Lancashire, was convicted of plotting to kill police officers on Anzac Day, held every April 25 to commemorate the Battle of Gallipoli. This year was the centenary of the battle, in which many Australian and New Zealand soldiers lost their lives.
"The judge in the case, John Saunders, said at the sentencing that it was 'chilling' that a defendant so young 'could have become so radicalized that he was prepared to carry out this role intending and wishing that people should die.'"
The Washington Post reports that the teen was 14 years old when he began exchanging thousands of messages with "someone in Australia going by the name of 'Illyas,' which included a plan to run over a police officer at the Anzac Day parade."
The Post adds:
"In one message to Illyas, he suggested that the Australian man should "break into someone's house and get your first taste of beheading" before the parade.
"In July, the teen pleaded guilty to inciting an act of terrorism overseas. Now 15, he must serve a minimum of five years in prison and will be released only if he is deemed not to be dangerous, the judge said.
"The British teen, from Blackburn in northwest England, was first arrested in March over suspicion of threatening to kill his teachers. But when police examined his cellphone, they found a screensaver of Islamic State militants and messages about a terrorist plot in Australia. The Greater Manchester Police informed police in Australia, who arrested five men in April, a week before the parade. One of the men, Sevdet Besim, 18, has been charged with conspiring to commit terrorist acts and is awaiting trial."
The teen never went through with his plans.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.