14-year-old bomb plot boy on the run

A 14-year-old boy who was arrested in October for plotting to explode a bomb at a crowded railway station has gone missing, according to police reports.

14-year-old bomb plot boy on the run
Baby-faced bomb plotter Merkan G. Photo: Police

Merkan G., a boy of Turkish origin who planned to commit a terrorist attack on the Westbahnhof railway station went missing on Tuesday afternoon.

The teenage jihadist who faced pre-trial detention in a remand home in Hütteldorf had planned to find crowds to maximize death in his bomb plans

Authorities have said that the boy was allegedly planning to travel to Syria to join the Isis terror group, and was considering building a bomb, with Vienna's Westbahnhof railway station one of several potential targets.

The St. Pölten prosecutor has ordered the arrest of the boy, subject to court approval.  On Tuesday afternoon, he should have been found in the area Vienna Hütteldorf. Despite investigations, there was still no trace of the boy on Wednesday.
"He admitted he had plans to go to Syria and searched the internet for plans on how to build explosive devices," said Michaela Obenaus, spokeswoman for prosecutors in St. Pölten, the capital of the province of Lower Austria. "There is suspicion of participation in a terrorist organization."

According to Obenaus, the boy had "expressed sympathy" with Isis militants fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Justice officials decided in October to extend the boy's detention by a further two weeks, to allow additional investigations.  In Austria, young people are considered criminally culpable from the age of 14.

Police in St. Pölten revealed that they had been investigating the boy since the beginning of October, since he had been making extremist statements and engaging in increasingly radicalized behaviours.  In October, the regional court in St. Pölten accepted a request by the prosecutor for the imposition of pre-trial detention.

Members of the public who may be able to supply information about his whereabouts are asked to contact the National Office for Protection of the Constitution, on telephone number 059133-30, or at any police station.