Police file terror charges against Canadian teen

Officers investigate an overturned vehicle in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec Oct 20, 2014. A 15-year-old boy charged with seeking to travel abroad to engage in "terrorist activity" is said to have befriended the suspect in the first Islamic extremi
Officers investigate an overturned vehicle in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec Oct 20, 2014. A 15-year-old boy charged with seeking to travel abroad to engage in "terrorist activity" is said to have befriended the suspect in the first Islamic extremist attack on Canadian soil - the hit-and-run killing of a soldier in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian police have filed charges against a 15-year-old boy for seeking to travel abroad to engage in "terrorist activity."

The boy, who cannot be named under laws protecting minors, is only the second person in the country ever to face such charges, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said late Wednesday.

He is accused of having stolen C$2,200 (S$2,536) at knife-point from a grocer "for the benefit of, or at the direction of, a terrorist group."

"He was allegedly planning to leave Canada to engage in terrorist activity abroad," the RCMP added.

Last month, La Presse reported that the boy had befriended the suspect in the first Islamic extremist attack on Canadian soil - the hit-and-run killing of a soldier in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Citing unnamed sources, the Montreal daily said the teenager had contacted the suspected militant on Facebook days prior to the attack.

The teen's father reportedly feared he had become radicalised and alerted police, who arrested him on Oct 17 before he could leave the country.

The first person convicted in Canada of seeking to join an overseas terrorist group was Mohamed Hersi, 28.

He was sentenced in July to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Hersi planned to join the Shebab, a Somali Islamist militia that has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including a commando assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall last year.