UK boy, 14, appears in court over Anzac day attack plot

LONDON (Reuters) - A 14-year-old British boy appeared in court on Friday charged with inciting a man in Australia to behead someone and carry out a terror attack on an Anzac day parade in Melbourne.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in Blackburn, northern England, after police found messages he had exchanged with a man in Australia on his mobile phone regarding the alleged plot.

This sparked a police operation in Melbourne which resulted in the arrest of five teenagers who Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said were planning an Islamic State-inspired attack on a World War I commemorative event this week.

The British boy appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, where District Judge Emma Arbuthnot ordered that the case be transferred to the higher Central Criminal Court which deals with more serious offences.

The boy was denied bail and Arbuthnot ordered him to be sent to a youth detention facility. An initial hearing was set for later on Friday at the Central Criminal Court, also known as the Old Bailey.

The boy did not enter a plea. That will take place at a future date.

The first charge he faces is that between March 15 and 26 he incited another person to carry out an attack at an Anzac day parade with the aim of killing and/or causing serious injury to people.

The second charge is that on March 18 he incited another person to behead someone.

Abbott said the authorities believed the group arrested in Melbourne were planning an attack at an event to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, due to take place on Anzac day, a day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.