A 14-year-old boy from Blackburn, Lancashire, has been charged with inciting a terrorist beheading and inciting a terrorist attack in Australia.
The teenager was first arrested three weeks ago, then re-arrested last weekend in connection with an alleged Islamic State-inspired plot connected to attacks commemorating Anzac day in Australia. His rearrest came after experts examined electronic devices.
On Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service said it had authorized two terrorism charges against the child. Deborah Walsh, deputy head of counter-terrorism at the CPS, said: “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 [Day] 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.”
Under British law, children cannot be named even when charged with serious criminal offenses.
The 14-year-old, who is still legally a child, is believed to be one of the youngest people ever charged under terrorism legislation in the UK. The CPS said the schoolboy had been charged with offenses contrary to section 59 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He will appear at Westminster magistrates court on Friday.
Walsh said: “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 boy was arrested for a second time on Saturday by detectives from the northwest counter-terrorism unit (NWCTU) and from Lancashire constabulary, who raided an address in Blackburn after being granted a warrant.
Australian authorities also made arrests in Melbourne and have increased security at events on 25 April to mark the centenary of the first world war landings at Gallipoli by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs).
After the child’s arrest at the weekend, Det Ch Sup Tony Mole, from NWCTU, said: “As soon as this information came to light, we acted quickly with the relevant authorities here and abroad, and this has resulted in officers from the NWCTU arresting a teenager. The nature of the communication is currently under full assessment and subject to investigation.”
The news is originally published in The Guardian.com