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Australian teen charged with terrorism offense linked to Anzac Day memorial

Police have charged a 16-year-old boy with plotting a terrorist attack at a Veteran's Day ceremony in western Australia. Authorities thwarted a similar attack linked to Anzac Day in 2015.

New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said on Monday that the male suspect was arrested the previous day in a west Sydney suburb.

"We'll be suggesting that there was a proposed attack to happen on this day, and that being Anzac Day it's very, very concerning," Scipione told reporters.

"The risk from this particular threat has been thwarted," he added.

The arrest came just a day before Australians gathered at ceremonies across the country to mark Anzac Day. The annual national holiday on April 25 commemorates the 1915 Gallipoli landings in Turkey. The campaign, which claimed more than 130,000 lives, was the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the First World War.

Increased security

The suspect appeared in a children's court on Monday, where he was reportedly accused of trying to obtain a gun to carry out an attack. If found convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. His case was adjourned until Tuesday.

In light of Sunday's arrest, New South Wales police stepped up security at Anzac Day services. Authorities also increased security last year, after

three teenagers in Melbourne were charged with plotting a terrorist act

during the dawn services and parades.

Canberra raised the country's terror threat level in 2014 in response to the domestic threat posed by supporters of the "Islamic State" ("IS") militant group. Police have since carried out dozens of raids, which they say aimed to thwart multiple plots, including an alleged plan to attack government buildings and a naval base in Sydney.

ksb/kms (AP, dpa)

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