18 Teenage tour for ter­ror

Sunday Herald Sun - - NEWS - ELLEN WHINNETT

A SYD­NEY teenager ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of ter­ror­ism in Le­banon was prepar­ing to be­come a sui­cide bomber, ac­cord­ing to se­cu­rity forces.

The dual na­tional, 18, iden­ti­fied only as AM, has been de­tained in Le­banon pend­ing a court ap­pear­ance on al­le­ga­tions he was prepar­ing to travel to Syria to join Is­lamic State.

Le­banon’s In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Forces said the teen was born in Le­banon in 1999, but had lived in Syd­ney for “sev­eral years” and be­came rad­i­calised in Aus­tralia af­ter watch­ing IS videos and pro­pa­ganda on­line.

It said he had down­loaded in­struc­tions on bomb-mak­ing and videos of IS as­sas­si­na­tions, and was two days away from trav­el­ling to Syria when he was ar­rested on Oc­to­ber 28 in Tripoli.

“About a week be­fore his ar­rest, he con­tacted a cadre of the Daesh (IS) or­gan­i­sa­tion in Syria and showed his will­ing­ness to carry out a sui­cide or ex­plo­sive op­er­a­tion the IFS said.

“He was in­structed to do so. He asked the cadre, if this was not pos­si­ble, to help him move into the Syr­ian ter­ri­tory to fight in the ranks of Daesh. He was ar­rested be­fore the an­swer to his re­quest was re­ceived.”

The IFS said the teen had got an Aus­tralian pass­port and a per­mit to travel be­fore ar­riv­ing in Le­banon on in Le­banon,” Au­gust 20, where he had been placed un­der sur­veil­lance and mon­i­tor­ing.

They said trav­el­ling to Le­banon was an at­tempt to avoid draw­ing the at­ten­tion of Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed he had resided in Syd­ney for sev­eral years and em­braced ex­trem­ist ide­ol­ogy by fol­low­ing the pub­li­ca­tions and videos of the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” the ISF said.

“Af­ter his ar­rival in Le­banon he con­tin­ued (speak­ing) with mem­bers of Daesh in Syria via the in­ter­net.

“He was linked with a co-or­di­na­tor of the or­gan­i­sa­tion in one of the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries where he ex­plained his plan of travel to Syria.”

ISF said the teen had given them in­for­ma­tion about Aus­tralian mem­bers, sup­port­ers and fi­nanciers of IS.

He ad­mit­ted he had “em­braced the idea of an ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion for about two years’’ and fol­lowed sev­eral web­sites, so­cial net­work­ing sites and groups af­fil­i­ated with IS.

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