Terror charges against teenager in Oslo: Swore allegiance to ISIS, studied poisons, took a bomb course…

Marit FormoPhoto: Berit Roald / NTB
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The accused 16-year-old from Syria completely denies that he had terrorist plans and was part of ISIS. The prosecution believes he was preparing a terrorist attack in Norway.

The indictment in the case that comes before the Oslo District Court consists of only two simple items: preparations to commit terrorism and participation in a terrorist organization. 

But under each charge, there is a long list of sub-points that describe in detail the boy’s activities, mainly online from last autumn to February this year. The list can be read as a table of contents of the prosecution’s evidence against the 16-year-old boy from Syria.

“I believe that the Police Security Service (PST) averted a possible terrorist attack in Norway by arresting the accused. It was absolutely necessary to prevent it,” public prosecutor Marit Formo told newspaper Nettavisen, who first mentioned the news that charges had been brought against the boy.

The main hearing starts on Tuesday. The court has set aside eleven days for it.

Searched for nightclubs

Under Post 1 on terrorist preparations, it is stated that the accused:

* Took an online course in the production of explosive devices.

* Downloaded and became acquainted with a large number of documents dealing with bomb production and detonation, hostage-taking and killing methods, and various toxins and their effects.

* Performed a number of alleged terror-related searches on Google and other search services on the web, including “Crowded/busy places in Norway,” “Entertainment places in Norway,” and “Nightclubs in Norway.”

“In our opinion, this is part of the defendant’s preparations for a terrorist act here in Norway. The web searches may have an impact on which places the accused envisaged carrying out the terrorist act,” Formo wrote in an email to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Swore allegiance to ISIS

In Post 2, about the participation of the terrorist organization ISIS, it is claimed that the accused:

* Committed allegiance to ISIS and transferred NOK 1,390 to a website with ISIS propaganda.

* Shared texts, audio files, and news about ISIS, wrote messages, participated in discussions, and gave advice to other participants in the groups he frequented.

* Assisted ISIS in spreading propaganda, including by downloading and publishing more propaganda videos on Twitter and making an instructional video on how others could publish ISIS videos without being caught and stopped.

“Further preparations were stopped by the fact that he was arrested by the police on February 4, 2021,” the indictment states.

Denies criminal guilt

The 16-year-old, who speaks poor Norwegian, did not want to be questioned by the PST. His defender denies that his client had terrorist plans.

“This is a child who, in our view, did not intend to carry out any terrorist act. We, therefore, believe it cannot be established that a possible terrorist attack has been averted,” lawyer Andreas Berg Fevang wrote in an SMS to NTB when the news of the indictment became known.

Mainly due to the defendant’s young age, the defense counsel was first upheld by the Oslo District Court in that the trial was to be subject to considerable secrecy. Among other things, the boy’s entire explanation and the explanations of four witnesses were to be covered by a complete ban on minutes.

The court reversed

However, following a complaint from the Norwegian Press Association and the Norwegian Editors’ Association, the court eased several of the restrictions on Friday.

In general, the trial will still take place behind closed doors, but it is now possible for the 16-year-old’s explanation in court to be reproduced as long as there is no information that can identify him, his previous or current residence, or other personal and sensitive information.

Furthermore, the information related to the boy’s forensic psychiatric examinations or the experts who have observed can’t be reproduced.

The ban on minutes still includes the statement of an expert from the PST, who will tell how one can make explosives.

“The court points out that there is a great public interest in the case and that the media should therefore be allowed to follow the proceedings, but that this must be weighed against the defendant’s claim for protection under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

“In the court’s view, it is important that the press has access to the case’s issues and how a criminal case against a minor is carried out,” District Court Judge Ingvild Boe Hornburg wrote in the ruling.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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