Teen accused of Anzac Day terrorism plot denied bail

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A 16-year-old boy charged over a foiled Anzac Day terror plot showed “complete and total disregard” for a deradicalisation program offered to him after a raid that he says left him depressed and traumatised, a court has heard. The boy was arrested on the day before Anzac Day, just hours after police allegedly intercepted him sending encrypted messages via a social networking app saying he wanted to get a firearm and a bomb-making manual.

It was revealed on Thursday that the boy allegedly sent a message to an undercover officer saying he had no desire to do an attack “until these kuffar [non-believers] cancelled my passport”. he boy’s mother, father and older sister broke down in Parramatta Children’s Court on Thursday as he was denied bail by Magistrate Christine Haskett. After a six-hour bail application on Monday, Ms Haskett deemed that the boy’s age, fragile mental state and potentially lengthy stay in custody were not exceptional circumstances to warrant bail.

She said the case against him appeared strong and she was concerned he appeared to show “complete and total disregard” for a voluntary deradicalisation program he was placed in by the police in November.

The court heard the boy was put into the intervention program after his family’s home was raided in May 2015, allegedly because the boy had been speaking to extremists online.

He told psychologist Sam Borenstein last week that the raid, and subsequent four-hour -ong interview with ASIO and the AFP, had left him traumatised and depressed. He began staying home from school and crying for days in his bed.

“I couldn’t believe it happened. That I was in that situation,” he told the psychologist, according to Ms Haskett.

When asked by the psychologist if he was angry, he replied that he was depressed and angry at what he had done to himself.

“I wanted to go to university. I wanted to study dentistry,” he said to the psychologist.

Despite being offered a gym membership and an opportunity for religious counselling as part of the deradicalisation program, the boy accepted neither and continued to stay in his room at night because he worked long hours during the day as an electrician apprentice, the court heard.

Police allege he sent encrypted messages to undercover officers posing as extremists on five nights between April 16 and 24.

Ms Haskett said there was a sense of urgency to his requests for help in getting his hands on a gun and a bomb-making manual.

On April 23, he arranged to meet one of the undercover officers in Auburn to get a gun. Police observed him leaving his home about 7.55pm , but the meeting didn’t happen and messages suggest the pair couldn’t find each other.

When police raided the home the next day, they allegedly found a handwritten note declaring allegiance to Islamic State and support for Sharia law over democracy. The boy’s lawyer, Zemarai Khatiz, indicated he will challenge the bail decision in a higher court.

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