Prosecutors say the 16-year-old is an “imminent and direct threat” to Australians and advised a magistrate not to release him on bail during a hearing on Monday. Crown prosecutor Chris Choi said the boy, an electrical apprentice, contacted a person or people whom he thought were overseas via the password-protected online messaging app and carried out conversations on five nights between April 16 and April 24.
She said he tried to obtain a gun for an Anzac Day attack and, when that failed, a bomb manual.
He allegedly said he targeted April 25, “because here in Australia the kafir (non-Muslims) celebrate Anzac Day and I want to terrorise them on that day”, Ms Choi said.
He allegedly sent in a text on April 16, “I want to learn how to make a bomb”, and on another occasion asked, “Do you have a manual on how to do a bomb?”.
Warned by the person on the other end not to download any material, the boy allegedly replied, “I do not have time”.
Among the evidence in the “strong” crown case was a handwritten document by the teenager calling for Sharia law, and evidence he’d downloaded execution and beheading videos and accessed Islamic State propaganda.
The IS flag appeared in his messaging avatar, Ms Choi said.
The boy has pleaded not guilty to doing an act in preparation or planning for a terrorist act.
He first came under investigating by NSW’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team in May 2015 and was consequently enrolled in a deradicalisation program which the prosecutor said had failed.
“He is an imminent and direct threat to the Australian community,” she told the court.
“He may not have access to a gun, he may not have access to a bomb, but there are many very other things he could obtain … to carry out a terrorist attack if released on bail.”
But the teenager’s father, who denied knowledge of the alleged plot, said he was prepared to place his life savings on the line in the form of the family’s $1.2 million home to guarantee his son would comply with strict bail conditions.
The conditions included no access to electronic devices, an ankle bracelet for monitoring, and effective house arrest.
“To get my son back home I would do anything … I love him with all my heart and he’s everything to me,” the visibly upset father told Magistrate Christine Haskett in an emotional plea, as his wife, daughter and other relatives watched on from the courtroom.
The court heard the father moved to Australia almost 40 years ago and was self employed.
The teenager appeared by video link and showed little emotion during the one-day hearing at Parramatta Children’s Court.
Defence lawyer Zemarai Khatiz referred to a psychologist’s report which said the teenager suffered severe depression and severe symptoms of anxiety. He is currently being held in isolation, and Mr Khatiz said keeping him in custody pending trial would have a permanent and irreversible psychological impact.
“He’s a 16-year-old boy with no prior convictions,” Mr Khatiz said. Magistrate Haskett is due to deliver her decision on Thursday afternoon. Originally published as NSW boy wanted gun to ‘terrorise kafirs’