United Kingdom

Boy, 14, made bombs and 'plotted to become an Islamic martyr'

A 14-year-old boy charged under the Terrorism Act allegedly made bombs in his bedroom to become an Islamic 'martyr', a court heard today. 

The teenager, who converted to Islam this year, is accused of developing an extremist jihadist mindset in the past month.

He allegedly made devices by combining explosive substances or bleach with tinfoil and screws, and professed his wish to become a martyr in a video. 

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 police on June 12 and charged yesterday 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 at Westminster Magistrates' Court wearing a face mask and grey tracksuit, supported by his mother, who sat in front of the dock.

The boy from Eastleigh, Hampshire, who appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court today, is one of the youngest people to be charged with terrorism offences in the UK 

He spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and age today, before indicating a not guilty plea when the charge was put to him.

The boy 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 homemade explosives containing shrapnel.

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

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot (pictured) remanded the boy in youth detention ahead of a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey

Social services became concerned after receiving a call from his mother stating he converted to Islam and recently began expressing extremist views in the last month, prosecutors said. 

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

CTPSE released a statement yesterday which 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.'

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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