Australian prosecutors said on Thursday that a teenager from Melbourne discussed painting the symbol of the Islamic State terror group on a live kangaroo that would have been packed with plastic explosives and then unleashed on the police.
Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 19, pleaded not guilty in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday to four charges related to an alleged terror attack investigators say he had planned to participate in last year on Anzac Day, a national day of remembrance.
Prosecutors claim Mr. Besim discussed his plans for wreaking havoc with other teenagers online and over the phone, and produced conversations in court on Thursday in which he discussed involving an exploding marsupial.
“The conversation continues with BESIM detailing what he did that day, and they have a general discussion around animals and wildlife in Australia including a suggestion that a kangaroo could be packed with C4 explosive, painted with the IS symbol and set loose on police officers,” reads an excerpt from evidence presented in court. IS refers to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
“Main thing I guess is that I send the dog to hell,” Mr. Besim allegedly added.
Additionally, prosecutors claim Mr. Besim hoped to either behead a cop or else run one over with an automobile.
Mr. Besim had been in police custody since last April when he and four others were arrested amid an investigation into the foiled Anzac Day attack. Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said at the time that authorities had been monitoring the individuals, all teenagers, for several months before making the arrests.
“This is a new paradigm for police,” he said at the time. “These types of attacks that are planned are very rudimentary and simple. … All you need these days is a knife, a flag and a camera, and one can commit a terrorist act.”
Prosecutors had planned to charge Mr. Besim with a fifth count of conspiring to commit a terror act, but decided to drop the charge ahead of Thursday’s hearing.