Boy, 14, remanded in youth detention over Islamic bomb plot charges

A 14-year-old boy accused of trying to make bombs containing shrapnel in an Islamic terror plot has appeared in court.

The teenager, who converted to Islam this year, is alleged to have developed an extremist jihadist mindset in the past month.

He is accused of making devices by combining explosive substances or bleach with tinfoil and screws, as well as recording a video setting out his wish to become a martyr.

The boy, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, who cannot be named because of his age, is one of the youngest people to be charged with terrorism offences in the UK.

He was arrested by Hampshire police on Friday June 12 and charged on Wednesday with preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 in connection with Islamist terrorism, Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) said.

The youngster appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday wearing a face mask and grey tracksuit, supported by his mother, who sat in front of the dock.

He faces a single charge which says that on or before June 12 he engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention to commit acts of terrorism.

Prosecutors allege he researched, prepared and made a series of devices with the aim of making bombs containing shrapnel.

He is also accused of researching the making of homemade explosives as well as filming bomb-making videos and a video of himself setting out his wish to become a martyr.

The boy stood in the dock to confirm his name, date of birth and age before indicating a not guilty plea when the charge was put to him.

His mother wept as Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded him in youth detention ahead of a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday.

A CTPSE statement on Wednesday said: “We know that the community of Eastleigh might be concerned about this news, however Hampshire Constabulary have been working closely with colleagues in Counter Terrorism Policing South East on this investigation and we want to reassure you that we believe the investigation is isolated, and with no known wider risk to the community.”

Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes tweeted: “I was briefed on this issue this afternoon and thank the police for their informative release.

“As they’ve said they believe this to be an isolated incident and speculation on social media is not helpful. Thank you to our police forces for their hard work.”

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