16 year-old boy arrested on terrorism charges as he tried to board a flight

A 16-year-old boy was arrested for terrorism offences while trying to board a flight from Stansted airport on Monday.PA-25891108.jpg

He was suspected of collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications. Police said the alleged offences were linked to extreme Islamist ideology.

Officers searched an address in east London in connection with the boy’s arrest.

The teenager was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command (MCTC) at Stansted after a Schedule 7 stop, which police can use to stop, question, search and detain people travelling over the UK border to determine whether they are involved in terrorism.

His arrest occurred less than one week after a 15-year-old boy from West Yorkshire was arrested for alleged terrorism offences.

Counter Terrorism Policing North East said it arrested a teenager from Haworth on 21 June as part of an operation targeting suspected extreme right wing terrorism.

The boy was charged on Tuesday with one count of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism, four counts of dissemination of terrorist publications and one count under the Protection from Harassment Act.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on Friday 15 July.

Official records show that under-18s accounted for 15 per cent of all arrests for terrorism in Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) in the last financial year. This was up from 12 per cent in the previous year but counterterror police said the proportional rise was due to a fall in the number of older people being arrested.

In May, a 13-year-old boy became one of the youngest people ever arrested on terror offenses in Britain.

At the time, Commander Richard Smith, head of the MCTC, said: “While it is still very rare for such a young person to be arrested for a terrorism offence, in recent times we have seen a worrying increase in the number of teenagers being drawn into terrorism.”

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