UK teen admits role in plot to attack police officer in Australia

Story highlights

  • The planned attack was due to be carried out during a parade on Anzac Day, April 25
  • Police in Britain and Australia intervened before any attack could take place

London (CNN)A 15-year-old British boy admitted Thursday in a UK court to inciting a teenager in Australia via the Internet to behead, run over or shoot a police officer in Australia, in a plot reminiscent of the chilling 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in London.

The ISIS-inspired attack was due to be carried out during a parade on Anzac Day, or April 25, when Australia commemorates the wartime service of its armed forces.
Police in Britain and Australia intervened before any attack could take place.
    The British boy, from Blackburn in Lancashire, northern England, was only 14 at the time of the offense, making him the youngest person in Britain to admit to, or be found guilty of, a terror offense.
    The boy, who can't be named for legal reasons, will be sentenced in September. At London's Old Bailey court, via videolink from Manchester, he pleaded guilty to inciting terrorism overseas.
    The court heard that he and the Australian teenager had exchanged thousands of instant messages enthusiastically planning the attack.
    This year's Anzac Day events marked the centennial of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' World War I battle in Gallipoli.
    Australia has been on a high level of terrorism alert, meaning a terrorist attack is likely, since September.
    The Council of Australian Governments, which brings together the Prime Minister with the leaders and chief ministers of states and territories, released a national counterterrorism strategy Thursday, after its first special meeting on counterterrorism in a decade.
    "Australians currently face the most significant threat from terrorism in our nation's history," said a news release from the Prime Minister's office.
    "The resilience and cohesion of our community is our best defence against violent extremism."