15 year old Austrian boy found guilty of terrorism charges

  • AFP, Vienna
  • Updated: May 26, 2015 17:13 IST

A 15-year-old Austrian schoolboy was found guilty of charges of terrorism, and sentenced to an an eight month jail sentence by a local court.

The boy, named only as Mertkan G, was arrested in October 2014 when he was 14 and allegedly had contact with supporters of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group and Al-Qaeda, the court in his hometown Sankt-Poelten said.

"In addition he is suspected of obtaining instructions on how to make an explosive device from an Al-Qaeda website... in order to carry out an attack in Vienna," the court 70km west of the Austrian capital said.

According to the charge sheet, the teenager, who emigrated from Turkey in 2007, wanted to carry out the attack before travelling to join the "holy war" in Syria and was in contact with IS recruiters in Vienna.

Police had said at the time of the arrest that the boy made "concrete enquiries about buying ingredients" for a bomb and "planned to explode the devices in public places, such as the Vienna Westbahnhof," a major train station.

His lawyer Rudolf Mayer told AFP that his client had only been "playing with the idea" of making a bomb. He has been in custody since January after breaking the terms of his parole. In common with other European countries, Austria has seen a steady flow of people leaving or attempting to leave the country in order to join IS militants in Syria and Iraq.

According to the Austrian interior ministry, more than 200 have done so, including some women and minors. Around 70 have since returned, several of whom are in custody awaiting trial.

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