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Austrian teenager convicted of terrorism

May 26, 2015

A 14-year old boy in Austria who planned to join the "IS" and bomb a Vienna train station has been sentenced to two years. The boy downloaded the bomb plans on his PlayStation, prosecutors claim.

Österreich 14-jähriger wegen Terror zu zwei Jahren Haft verurteilt
Image: Reuters/H.-P. Bader

The teenager of Turkish origin pleaded guilty to terror charges in front of a Vienna court on Monday.

According to the prosecution, the boy intended to carry out a bombing before going to Syria to join the self-styled "Islamic State" group. He allegedly planned to take part in "jihad" and had made contact with "IS" connections in the Austrian capital.

At the time of his arrest in October 2014, police have said that the boy made "concrete enquiries about buying ingredients" for a bomb, which he intended to detonate "in public places, such as the Vienna Westbanhof," which is an important rail station in the Austrian capital.

The boy apparently downloaded plans to build a bomb on his PlayStation game console. In addition, police found IS propaganda and violent pictures on his computer and mobile phone.

The boy's own family had initally alerted the authorities, worried over his radicalization.

Searching for 'recognition'

The accused teenager moved to Austria seven years ago, and was placed in a special school for troubled children. During his court appearance on Tuesday, his lawyer told the court that the boy "looked for recognition" and a sense of belonging.

"Imagine the power of propaganda that says to young people who feel they are living an empty existence: 'You an do something good, and get money and women'," his defender Rudolf Mayer said.

Although the boy was convicted to two years, sixteen months of his term were suspended, and the time he has already spent investigative custody will count towards the sentence. Thus, the 14-year old is likely to spend only three more months in a juvenile detention center.

Mother keeps Jihadi bride at home

Hundreds of people from Austria, as well as many other Western nations, have joined Islamist militia groups in the Middle East, including a number of women and children.

Also on Tuesday, a Vienna court cleared a 16-year old girl accused of belonging to a terrorist organization.

The young girl, who converted to Islam in 2014, told the court that she did it because it was "for me the most beautiful religion" and because in Christianity "children get raped."

Last year, the teenager met 18-year old Jusip D., who wanted to join the IS. They married under Islamic law before Jusip left for Syria. The girl's mother, however, stopped her from following her new husband, by taking her passport away.

She then tried to run away to Istanbul in February this year, but was arrested.

"When you love each other then you want to be with your husband. I imagined I could live as a housewife" she said, doing "cooking and cleaning."

She told the court that she believed Jusip had been killed in Syria.

The suspect also told the court that she gets "insulted and spat at" when she wears her veil outside, and added she plans to move to an Islamic country.

dj/msh (Reuters, dpa, AFP)