After Church Stabbings, Teens Planned to Attack Jews: Police

4 boys plotted to buy guns, attack Jewish people, police say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 29, 2024 2:30 AM CDT
After Church Stabbings, Group Planned to Attack Jews: Police
FILE - Security officers stand guard outside Orthodox Assyrian church in Sydney, Australia, April 15, 2024.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

Four teenagers plotted to buy guns and attack Jewish people days after a bishop was stabbed in a Sydney church, according to police documents cited in news reports on Monday. Five teens, aged 14 to 17, were charged in a Sydney court on Thursday last week with a range of offenses including conspiring to engage in or planning a terrorist act, the AP reports. Police alleged they all "adhered to a religiously motivated, violent extremist ideology" and were part of a network that included a 16-year-old boy charged with stabbing Assyrian Orthodox Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel on April 15 as a church service was being streamed online.

According to a police fact sheet tendered to the Sydney Children's Court, two of the defendants charged last week discussed buying guns on April 19, the same day the bishop's alleged attacker was charged, News Corp Australia newspapers reported. Four of the boys charged last week—a 15-year-old, a 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds—allegedly used the encrypted messaging app Signal to plan their attack, with one of them allegedly saying, "whatever happens, it's the qadr (predetermination) of Allah," the newspapers reported. Meanwhile, in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp., the parents of the 16-year-old charged with stabbing the bishop as well as a priest said their son was violent and had a suspected autism spectrum disorder, but they said he was not a terrorist.

(More Australia stories.)

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