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Trial for jihadist teenager delayed

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Trial for jihadist teenager delayed
Westbahnhof railway station. Photo: Sven Gross-Selbeck/Wikimedia
00:51 CEST+02:00
A 15-year-old Austrian schoolboy with alleged ties to Islamist extremists, who is accused of intending to launch a bomb attack in Vienna last year will be tried on May 26, officials said on Monday.

Mertkan G. was arrested in October 2014 when he was 14 and allegedly had contacts with supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State and al-Qaeda, a court in his home town Sankt-Pölten where he will be tried said.

"In addition he is suspected of obtaining instructions on how to make an explosive device from an al-Qaeda website... in order to carry out an attack in Vienna," the court in eastern Austria said.

According to the charge sheet, the teenager, who immigrated from Turkey in 2007, wanted to carry out the attack before travelling to join the "holy war" in Syria and was in contact with Isis recruiters in Vienna.

Police had said at the time of the arrest that he made "concrete enquires about buying ingredients" for a bomb and "planned to explode the devices in public places, such as the Vienna Westbahnhof," a major train station.

His lawyer Rudolf Mayer told AFP that his client had only been "playing with the idea" of making a bomb.

Previously officials had said that the trial would take place on May 19.

He has been in custody since January after breaking the terms of his parole. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

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