News National Terror suspect, 15, refused bail

Terror suspect, 15, refused bail

terror raids sydney
NSW Police
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A 15-year-old terror suspect has been refused bail following Thursday’s western Sydney terror raids.

Magistrate Elizabeth Ryan refused the boy bail, saying he posed an unacceptable risk to the safety of the community.

The schoolboy and a man in his twenties were charged on Thursday over an alleged plot to plan a terrorism attack on federal police headquarters.

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The decision came after the boy’s legal team and family pleaded for him to be allowed house arrest, on account of the boy’s fragile mental state.

The pair – who were arrested in counter-terror raids in west Sydney on Thursday – could face life in prison.

On Thursday, Parramatta Children’s Court heard the pair allegedly used the word “banana” as code for “firearm”, in text messages between the 15-year-old and 20-year-old.

Court heard teen is distressed and mentally unstable. Photo: NSW Police
Court heard teen is distressed and mentally unstable. Photo: NSW Police

“I’m going to get to paradise through banana. God is great. No God but Allah,” a text read out in court said.

The teenager’s defence said there was no further contact between him and the co-accused after his house was raided for a second time in December 2014.

In that raid, police seized photos of the boy brandishing a firearm, as well as photos saved to his phone of beheadings and Islamic extremists.

The boy’s clinical and forensic psychologist, Hannan Dover, told the court he had suffered ongoing trauma, anxiety, depression and paranoia as a result of the raids.

Ms Dover told the court the boy fears for his safety after his home was raided by the Australian Federal Police while he was home alone.

“That incident was a total shock and horror,” she said.

Ms Dover said the boy now has trouble eating, has frequent nightmares and sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor of his parents bedroom.

“I have high concerns for his mental health if he is to remain in custody,” Ms Dover said.

The boy applied for bail, but police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Bruce Wells argued against his release arguing he posed a risk to the safety of the community.

The boy’s father offered up $400,000 dollars in cash and property to secure his son’s release on bail.

He told the court he would be willing for the boy to remain in home detention and would surrender his phone and report daily to police.

The boy’s co-accused, Ibrahim Ghazzawy, is also facing court on Friday.

Three other men who are already in custody have also been charged over the alleged plan to target government buildings.

A 22-year-old man was scheduled to appear at Sydney’s Central Local Court on Thursday afternoon while two other men, aged 21 and 22, were remanded to face the same court on December 16.



– with reporting from Anthony Colangelo

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