Australian teens arrested in attempted 'IS inspired' attack

14 Oct 2016 | By Supriya Kaur

Two 16-year old boys were arrested by a counter-terrorism team in Sydney, Australia just before they were about to commit an Islamic-State-inspired attack.

The Australian public broadcaster reported that one of the arrested boys was the son of a convicted terrorist however the police declined to comment.

The police said that they knew the attack would be imminent but didn't know the specific target.

In context: Islamic State's tentacles spread to Australia

Australia vulnerable to terror attacks

According to Australian officials, over 10 terror attacks have been prevented in the past two years. PM Malcolm Turnbull described the threat of a terror attack as very "real" ever since the jihadist terrorist group of Islamic State called followers to target prominent Australian locations.

BackgroundSpate of terrorist incidents in Sydney

In May 2016, a 16-year-old boy was arrested in Sydney for plotting a terror attack on Anzac Day ceremony.

In September 2016, a 22-year-old, inspired by the 'Islamic State' stabbed an elderly man in Sydney and tried stabbing the the police officer who arrived at the scene.

Two weeks ago, a civilian employee at Sydney police headquarters was fatally shot by a 15-year-old extremist.

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14 Oct 2016Australian teens arrested in attempted 'IS inspired' attack

NSW a vulnerable target

In the press conference post-arrest of the two 16-year-olds, New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said this was "the 11th imminent attack we have prevented in this country. There have been four attacks, three have been in New South Wales."
The attempted attack

What we knowThe attempted attack

The two teens who were arrested were carrying two large bayonet-style knives which they had purchased on the same day.

They were also in possession of notes in which they had pledged 'allegiance' to the Islamic State.

Both the boys were arrested in a lane-way behind a Muslim prayer hall.

According to Sydney police, these arrests were part of an ongoing counter terrorism operation.

DetailsWhat transpired post-arrest?

Sydney Police held a press conference and said that the boys were being held on terrorism charges.

The New South Wales Police Commissioner told journalists that, "We will be alleging this attack was inspired by Islamic State."

The pair was formally refused bail as the police consider them an "unacceptable risk to the community".

They are due to appear in court in December.

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Age of extremists serious concern

Australian Federal Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan spoke about this incident and said the events were "extremely sobering, particularly given the age of these individuals. The threat is real, it's enduring, it's still happening and the age of these two individuals is extremely concerning to us."