Teenagers bound to Syria stopped at Sydney Airport

  • PTI, Melbourne
  • Updated: Mar 08, 2015 19:19 IST

Two teenage brothers have been detained by Australian authorities at Sydney Airport on suspicion that they were trying to join Islamic State Fighters in Syria.

"The youths, aged 16 and 17, were detained by Customs yesterday, after they aroused the suspicions of two Customs and Border Protection officers," Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.

The two who are said to be brothers were subsequently unarrested and released into their parents custody and were issued court attendance notices.

Their luggage contained extremist paraphernalia and a letter on how to fabricate a cover story to authorities when leaving the country, ABC news reported.

The teenagers were headed for Turkey, a common transit point for those wanting to join IS, it said.

In response to the incident, Dutton said the teens were "kids, not killers".

The boys were stopped on their way to a potentially very dangerous situation, and their parents were "shocked" to learn of their plans, Dutton said.

"These two young men, are kids, not killers," he said.

They shouldn't be allowed to go to a foreign land to fight and to come back to our shores eventually more radicalised, he added.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott thanked the border protection officers and said the boys had been prevented from doing something "very dangerous".

There were about 400 people in Australia that security agencies were currently monitoring, he said.

"We know that there are other people who might be tempted to do silly things, and these are two youngsters who ... suddenly got it into their head to go and do something that is very dangerous for them and potentially very dangerous for others," Abbott said.

"We don't want is people coming into this country with evil intentions, and we don't want people leaving this country with evil intentions," he said.

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