The Courier-Mail

Pressure cooker key to teen plot

- PADRAIC MURPHY

A TEEN accused of plotting a Mother’s Day terrorist attack was allegedly building a pressure-cooker backpack bomb commonly used in suicide attacks, it has been revealed.

The accusation­s against the Victorian teen are so serious a children’s court yesterday took the extraordin­ary step of ordering him to face the Supreme Court should the case against him proceed past committal.

The move means the child could face a greater sentence, should he be convicted.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested on May 8, just days before he allegedly planned a terrorist attack.

The prosecutio­n claimed it was the closest to an attack Victorian authoritie­s had seen.

“The more shrapnel the more kills/injuries,” a file found on the teen’s computer read.

Sources close to the investigat­ion said the teen viewed his incarcerat­ion as a test from God and had become increasing­ly devout.

The teen smiled when the court was told he disagreed with his father about Islamic issues.

He also prayed in the dock during a break in proceeding­s.

A federal agent told the children’s court an instructio­n manual, along with a pressure cooker, nails and screws, were found in the teen’s possession.

Scrapings from matches and a switch from Christmas lights were also seized.

Police also seized propaganda material from al-Qa’ida and ISIS instructin­g followers how to launch terrorist attacks, including one titled Pressure Cooker Bomb Back-Pack.

The federal agent told the court backpack bombs were commonly used in suicide attacks.

“It would involve a suicide attack, somebody who’s wearing a backpack,” the agent said. “It’s switch-activated by the person who’s wearing it.

AFP officers also seized footage from a Melbourne hardware store to investigat­e if the teen bought some of the materials there.

The teen, who did not apply for bail, is being detained at a Youth Justice Centre - and has been visited by a religious leader.

The teen did not apply for bail.

He will reappear again this month and then in September for a committal mention. WITH ANTHONY DOWSLEY AND JAMES DOWLING

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