Australian teen accused of Anzac Day terror plot with ‘kangaroo bomb’
A 19-year-old in Melbourne is charged with allegedly planning to mount an explosive on a kangaroo, paint it with an Islamic State symbol and “set it loose” on police officers during Anzac Day in April 2015, local media report.
Sevdet Ramadan Besim is one of five teens arrested during a police raid in Melbourne in April 2015, and has been in custody since.
Prosecutors alleged on Thursday that Besim discussed the planned terror attack with a British accomplice, as well as doing online searches about Anzac Day events. Marked on April 25 each year, Anzac Day was originally to honor soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. 2015 marked the centenary of that campaign.
However, the plotted attack involved quite an unconventional explosive device. A summary of Telegram Messenger communications, an encrypted service, between the two teens quoted by ABS says Besim suggested mounting C4 on a kangaroo and making it approach police officers before blowing up.
“The conversation continues with Besim detailing what he did that day and they have a general discussion around animals and wildlife in Australia, including a suggestion that a kangaroo could be packed with C4 explosive, painted with the IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS] symbol and set loose on police officers,” the summary reads.
“I'd love to take out some cops,” Besim is also alleged to have written, according to court documents. “I was gonna meet with them then take some heads.”
He has been ordered to stand trial in the Victorian Supreme Court in February facing charges relating to searching internet sites, engaging in communications and creating a memo with the intention of planning a terrorist attack.
A fifth charge of conspiring to commit a terror attack – which implies a life sentence – was withdrawn.
Police have alleged Besim was motivated by an extremist ideology and expressed support for terrorist organizations, particularly IS. In October, a British court sentenced a 15-year-old boy from Blackburn, northwestern England, for his part in the Anzac Day plot.
In passing sentence in the Manchester Crown Court, Judge John Saunders said the teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, would only be released when he was no longer a danger to the public. Saunders handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for five years.