12-year-old boy on terror watchlist

A 12-year-old boy is one of an undisclosed number of boys under 14 who are on an Australian Federal Police (AFP) counter-terrorism watchlist.

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin has confirmed that the boy appeared on its radar after being listed on a Federal Court control order.

The order was issued for Sydney man, Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand, who’s been prohibited from contacting certain people of interest, including the 12-year-old boy, as well as an 18-year-old boy who is currently being questioned about the death of Curtis Cheng – the NSW Police accountant who was shot dead in Parramatta in early October.

“Unfortunately, there is a barbaric terrorist organisation in the Middle East that are reaching out through social media to our young people,” said Justice Minister Michael Keenan. “We have seen this trend of them reaching out to people in their 20s, then their late teens. Now we find people in their early teens and the government is very shocked about these matters.”

Mr Keenan declined to say how many children in Australia under the age of 14 were on watchlists, saying, “I do not think it is appropriate for me to go into that.”

“We’re shocked that a 12-year-old is on police radar for these types of matters,” said Commissioner Colvin. “This threat has evolved, it’s become younger. We saw the very tragic events in Parramatta a week-and-a-half ago that involved a 15-year-old and I think that’s the most shocking part.”

What do you think about this? Are you surprised that a 12-year-old boy may pose such a serious threat to the community? Or do expect that this will become more commonplace?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.