Australia’s home-grown terrorist failed a deradicalisation programme

The 16-year-old Australian-born son of two Australian parents was already put through a deradicalisation course.

Didn’t work, did it?

A 16-year-old boy charged over a foiled terrorism plot allegedly tried to learn how to make a bomb and said he wanted to “terrorise” Australians on Anzac Day, a court has heard.

The boy was arrested on the day before Anzac Day, just hours after police allegedly intercepted him sending encrypted messages via a social networking app saying he wanted to get a firearm and a bomb-making manual.

During a bail application on Monday, his father wept as he promised he would monitor his son 24/7 and said he thought he was doing the right thing by giving the boy, an apprentice electrician, privacy and space to spend time alone in his bedroom at night.

The alleged messages were sent on five nights between April 16 and 24 to an undercover officer posing as an overseas extremist, according to police documents tendered in Parramatta Children’s Court on Monday.

And what if he was talking to a real extremist? One with real contacts and resources? 

In one message, the boy, who had been on the police radar for a year, was asked why he wanted to do something on April 25.

“Because here in Australia the kuffar [non-believers] celebrate Anzac Day and I want to terrorise them on that day,” he allegedly replied.

In another, he allegedly said: “I want to learn how to make a bomb”.

When asked what kind of mechanical knowledge he had, he replied: “I am an electronic apprentice.”

Police also allegedly watched the boy leave his home for a meeting, arranged via message, to obtain a firearm however the meeting didn’t happen for unknown reasons, the court heard.

“The online communications indicate a sense of urgency in [the] behaviour of the young person,” Commonwealth prosecutor Chris Choi told the court.

The family’s Auburn home was raided at 3pm on April 24 and police allegedly seized phones and computers containing an Islamic State recruitment video featuring beheadings and issues of Islamic State’s official magazine Dabiq, Ms Choi said.

In opposing bail, Ms Choi said the boy had come to the attention of counter-terrorism authorities last May because he was allegedly chatting to Islamic State members online.

He was put in a deradicalisation program in November that had clearly “failed”.

“He now has a greater urgency to do what he failed to do on Anzac Day,” she said.

The boy’s lawyer, Zemarai Khatiz, said a psychologist has advised that he would suffer irreversible psychological damage if kept in custody until trial.

He proposed putting the boy under virtual house arrest with no internet or phone and said the family would give up their $1.2 million home if bail conditions were breached.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared via video link with a closely shaven beard and wiped his eyes as his father, mother, older sister and uncle cried throughout the hearing.

Tragic for the family.

But excuse me if I don’t care about the boy’s “irreparable psychological damage” for being locked up.

Who are our own radicals talking to on-line?  And how would we be protected if those who so vocally opposed the GCSB and SIS having appropriate powers had gotten their way?


– Stuff


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  • Bombastic

    Yet it never occurred to anyone that teaching the little jihadist-in-training how electrical circuits work might not be the wisest idea? We should take the lead from certain rifle ranges in the US, they have managed to identify a certain problem and acted accordingly.

    • Dan

      Bait. The intel people need bait. Just keep a thumb on the line and regularly check the hook.

  • Dan

    I can see why privacy is important and that it is not right that some people get to see everything about us because they have the power and tech to do so. But why anyone would want to oppose gcsb, sis is simply crazy. Are they opposed on socialist human rights grounds or do they have something to hide that they fear may come out.

    Remember the storm that erupted after it was discovered that gcsb (?) was sniffing email traffic in pacific island countries? Well trust me, with the rise of a certain mideast religion amongst other things here I am so glad they do (if they do).

  • Abjv

    People who are shot or blown up also suffer irreparably psychological damage, or do they not matter to the lawyer because they are kuffars?

    • RG52

      It could also be argued that people who believe the self proclaimed prophet is the best roll model for mankind suffer from irreparable psychological damage.

  • Brian Smaller

    The whole concept of a deradicalisation course is so ‘touchy feely’ that I wonder why people are in any way surprised that they fail to actually stop radicalisation. They are an idea thought up by the same sort of mind-set that thinks that you can change a criminal by hugging them. They forget that the radicals are in fact devout Muslims doing what is mandated by their moon god.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Too late for any “irreversible psychological damage” to be prevented as this little rat has already been radicalised which is far more debilitating than any time spent in the clink might cause. De-radicalisation is surely an oxymoron likely to be as effective as a de-loony program.

  • Duchess of Pork

    But he has been talking with a real extremist according to previous Fairfax reports. “His association with one of the Operation Appleby targets, a young western Sydney extremist who is now in custody, meant police were monitoring him…” Which raises a number of questions, not least being whether the parents knew of this association. Allegedly they had little idea of their son’s activities despite the father, in a newspaper interview last year, praising the federal de-radicalisation program. Backtracking, mendacity and crocodile tears emanate from this family, no doubt designed to sway the magistrate into allowing bail so the devout Islamist in his safe space at home can choose another day to formulate his plans to terrorise kuffar.

  • sandalwood789

    Deradicalisation programs are a complete waste of time and money.

    Islam is an ideology that is *intrinsically hostile* to those outside it. It is for that reason that you *can’t* “deradicalise” Muslims. If you want to lower the chances of young Ahmed committing terrorism then you will need to get him to *leave* Islam.

  • papagaya

    Lock him up, no ifs or buts.