Australia

Australian man pleads guilty to Anzac Day terror plot

A statue of a solider in Martin Place, Sydney, Australia Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The terror plot targeting this year's Melbourne Anzac Day parade never took place

A man has pleaded guilty to supplying weapons for a foiled terror plot at an Anzac Day remembrance parade in Australia.

Mehran Azami on Monday appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on multiple charges connected to the plot.

Azami pleaded guilty to 19 charges of importing restricted goods, including knives and stun guns, local media said.

A teenager from the UK has also admitted involvement in the plan which was targeting police at the parade.

Police say they prevented the attack, planned for Melbourne, when Azami and others were arrested in anti-terrorism raids.

A UK court has heard that several of the alleged plotters were supporters of the Islamic State militant group.

Anzac Day, held on 25 April each year, commemorates the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' World War One battle in Gallipoli, with this year marking its centenary.

Azami was remanded in custody until October, said the Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC).

Mental illness

He was 19 when he was arrested after police launched counter-terrorism raids in April.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court had previously heard Azami had given some weapons to Harun Causevic and Sevdet Besim, who are charged with conspiring to plan the attack, reported The Australian.

Defence lawyer Charles Atlas has previously said Azami was suffering from a mental illness and was being kept at a psychiatric facility.

A teenager from Blackburn in the UK earlier this month pleaded guilty to one count of inciting terrorism by encouraging the murder of police officers during the parade.

Image copyright Julia Quenzler
Image caption A UK boy had appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier this year

The 15-year-old appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Manchester Crown Court, speaking only to enter his plea.

He could not be named for legal reasons.

The Old Bailey heard the boy, who was 14 at the time, sent thousands of instant messages to 18-year-old Besim in Australia over a 10-day period in March.

The boy sent a message to the older teenager suggesting he got his "first taste of beheading," prosecutor Paul Greaney QC said, to which Besim replied that this seemed "risky".

According to the Australia government, at least 100 Australians are fighting with terror groups in the Middle East, and another 150 people in Australia are known to be supporting such groups.

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