Police in Sydney arrested a 16-year-old boy on Sunday, who they say was planning a terrorist attack on an Anzac Day celebration.
The boy, who had previously been under scrutiny, was apprehended by counterterrorism forces near his home in the suburb of Auburn on Sunday afternoon, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Local police commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters that authorities were not yet sure which of the many Anzac Day commemorations across the city he was targeting.
“Officers were forced to act yesterday afternoon,” Scipione said. “We had to do that in order to ensure the safety of the community.”
The boy, who police believe was acting alone, was charged with preparing for or planning a terrorist act, which carries a potential sentence of life imprisonment.
Michael Keenan, the country’s Justice Minister, told reporters that the boy’s age caused the government particular concern.
“This is part of a pattern that we have been observing where younger and younger people are targeted and incited to go and commit an act of terror,” he said.