Australia

Australian teen pleads guilty to plot to behead police officer

Sevdet Besim
Image caption Sevdet Besim pleaded guilty to one charge of planning a terrorist act in Australia

An Australian teenager has pleaded guilty to plotting to run over and behead a police officer during Anzac Day commemorations.

Sevdet Besim, 19, pleaded guilty in the Melbourne court to one charge of planning a terrorist act.

Besim was not immediately sentenced but faces a maximum jail term of life.

Court documents said he and a British accomplice also discussed using a kangaroo packed with explosives to attack police officers.

They allegedly said they would paint the animal with symbol of the so-called Islamic State and set it loose.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Besim wanted to target police taking part in the Anzac parade in Melbourne

Prosecutors said Besim, who was arrested in a counter-terror raid, intended to carry out the attack at the Anzac Day ceremony in Melbourne in 2015.

The plot was uncovered when police in Britain found messages on the phone of a teenager in Blackburn.

The boy, then 14, became Britain's youngest person convicted of terror offences when he was sentenced to life last year. He will serve at least five years.

Besim, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, is scheduled to return to court in August for a pre-sentence hearing.

Anzac Day on 25 April is a major holiday in Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the first major battle involving troops from both countries during World War One in Turkey's Gallipoli.

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