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Jihadist sought crowds to boost bomb deaths

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Jihadist sought crowds to boost bomb deaths
Photo: APA (Archiv/epa)
13:22 CET+01:00
Investigators have begun to carefully probe the background of Austria's latest radicalized teenage jihadist, whose pre-detention was extended on Wednesday afternoon after a court hearing in St. Pölten in Lower Austria.
The 14-year-old boy of Turkish origin had admitted to planning a bombing of Westbahnhof, one of Austria's busiest and largest railway stations, and had begun making enquiries into obtaining necessary parts for a bomb when police arrested him on Tuesday afternoon.
 
On Wednesday evening, there were media reports that as part of the radicalization process, young people had been lured into jihadism through promises that they could receive up to $25,000 (€19,800) for an assassination.
 
Now police and prosecutors are examining the computer, phone and other aspects of the suspect's life, including acquaintances and possible backers of the young would-be jihadist.  The data analysis is expected to take days, or even weeks, according to the police.
 
The Regional Court in St. Pölten agreed with prosecutors that there was a flight risk with the boy, and decided to impose pre-trial detention.  The teenager was "strongly suspected to have been involved in a terrorist group," it said in a press release.
 
Police have been investigating the young man since the beginning of October, when it was learned that he had been making increasingly radical statements that supported the Isis terrorist network, and had begun the process to acquire bomb parts.  
 
According to one report, the boy has admitted that he had been considering locations where crowds gathered to maximize the impact of a bomb, which is why Westbahnhof was one of his targets.
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