Pressure cooker key to teen plot
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