Terror charge against Aus­tralian teen dropped

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

Aus­tralian author­i­ties Tues­day dropped a terror charge against a teenager over an al­leged Is­lamic State-inspired plot to at­tack An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tions honor­ing the war dead, cit­ing in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence.

Harun Cau­se­vic, 18, was ar­rested along with fel­low teen Sevdet Ram­den Besim in raids in Mel­bourne in April and both were charged with con­spir­ing to com­mit a ter­ror­ist act.

But the ter­ror­ism-re­lated charge against Cau­se­vic was struck out on Tues­day and he was re­leased on bail, a Mag­is­trates Court of Vic­to­ria spokes­woman told AFP.

Three weapons charges against him were ad­journed un­til Novem­ber, she added. Besim re­mains in cus­tody on terror of­fenses.

Five men were ini­tially ar­rested in the counter-ter­ror­ism raids in Mel­bourne but only two were charged with con­spir­ing to com­mit a ter­ror­ist act on An­zac Day, when Aus­tralian and New Zealand Army Corps troops who died in com­bat are re­mem­bered.

A 14-year-old in Bri­tain was also charged with in­cit­ing the pur­ported at­tack and en­cour­ag­ing them to carry out a be­head­ing.

Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice on Tues­day said they had been ad­vised “there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to con­tinue the pros­e­cu­tion for this of­fense.”

But they de­fended the raids, say­ing they had taken an “op­er­a­tional res­o­lu­tion at an early stage” to en­sure there was no threat to the public.

“Po­lice would rather the risk of a pros­e­cu­tion fail­ing than the risk of mem­bers of the com­mu­nity be­ing hurt or killed through no overt ac­tion,” they said in a state­ment.

Vic­to­ria state Premier Daniel An­drews said po­lice were in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion of try­ing to keep the public safe with­out over­step­ping their pow­ers.

“Per­haps things are clearer, per­haps things are eas­ier when you’ve got the ben­e­fit of hind­sight,” he told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

Aus­tralia raised its threat level to “high” last Septem­ber and has since car­ried out a se­ries of counter-ter­ror­ism raids, with alarm fu­eled by the de­par­ture of more than 100 of its na­tion­als to Iraq and Syria to fight with ji­hadists.

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