Austrian prosecutors in St. Pölten charged a 14-year-old Turkish-Austrian with terror offenses after finding evidence he had downloaded bomb-making plans and planned attacks with the financial backing of Islamic State group members. He planned to travel to Syria and to bomb a number of high-profile targets in Austria, like Westbahnof railway station in the heart of Vienna, according to the Local.
The boy, identified as “Merkan G,” is one of the youngest Europeans to be allegedly involved with the Islamic State group. He and his Turkish family were granted asylum in Austria in 2007, but his father was later deported, according to the Times of India.
He had downloaded “countless” Islamic State group-related digital paraphernalia on his laptop and PlayStation console, including the extremely violent execution videos that made the group infamous, according to authorities. He told investigators himself that he planned to travel to Syria to join the jihadist group. He also allegedly recruited a 12-year-old boy to join his scheme.
He faces five years in prison on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and planning a terror attack. He was first arrested in October, but released a month later. He failed to adhere to his probation requirements and was arrested again in January after his mother reported him missing.
Unconfirmed photographs showing boys as young as 13 that the Islamic State group claims are foreign jihadist fighters in Syria have circulated on the Internet since the radical group came to prominence early last summer. One 13-year-old from Belgium is said to have followed his 27-year-old brother to Syria to join the group after a photo of him holding an Kalashnikov assault rifle surfaced in August.