14-year-old boy accused of making bombs with shrapnel for Islamist terror attack appears in court

Child allegedly radicalised over past month is among youngest to be charged with terror offence in UK

A teenager charged with terrorism offences has appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court
A teenager charged with terrorism offences has appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court

A 14-year-old boy accused of trying to make bombs containing shrapnel and bleach with the intention of committing an Islamist terror attack has appeared in court.

The teenager, from Eastleigh, is alleged to have developed an extremist mindset over the past month, after converting to Islam earlier this year. He is one of the youngest people to be charged with a terrorism offence in the UK.

He is accused of making devices combining explosive substances or bleach with tinfoil and screws, in addition to filming bomb-making videos and a clip setting out his desire to become a martyr.

After his arrest on Friday by Hampshire Police, he was charged on Wednesday with preparation of terrorist acts in connection with Islamist terrorism, Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) said.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Thursday wearing a face mask and grey tracksuit. He stood in the dock to confirm his name, age and date of birth before indicating a not guilty plea.

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

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said she had “no option” but to send his case to the Crown Court due to the seriousness of his alleged crime.

His mother, who sat in front of the dock, wept as Lady Arbuthnot remanded him in youth detention ahead of a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey on Monday.

“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,” CTPSE said in a statement.

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.”

Additional reporting by PA

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