LONDON: A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in the UK on suspicion of terrorism offenses while attempting to board a flight from London Stansted Airport.
He is accused of “collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism” and “disseminating terrorist publications,” according to a report by the Independent newspaper on Tuesday. Police said the alleged offenses are “linked to extreme Islamist ideology.”
The teenager was arrested on Monday by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command under Schedule 7 of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000, which gives officers the power to stop, question, search and detain suspects to determine any links with terrorism. A search was carried out at an address in east London in connection with the arrest, the report added.
Between April 2021 and March 2022, 15 percent of all terrorism-related arrests in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) involved people under the age of 18.
On May 17 this year, a 13-year-old boy was arrested in west London on terror-related charges. He is one of the youngest people to be charged with terrorism in the UK. Last week, a 15-year-old was detained in the north of England and charged in connection with extreme right-wing terrorism. He is due to appear at the Old Bailey on July 15.
According to official statistics, of the 233 people who were in custody in the UK at the end of March in connection with terrorism-related offenses, more than two-thirds (68 percent) were accused of holding “extreme Islamist views,” almost a quarter (24 percent) of having “extreme right-wing views,” and the remaining six percent of following other “other ideologies.”