THE mother of one of the two teenagers accused of a fatal stabbing has said her son is “not a terrorist” after he appeared in court this morning.
The teens, aged 16 and 15, were arrested just after 6.30am on Friday in the ACT and charged with murder following investigations into the death of 29-year-old service station worker Zeeshan Akbar who was fatal stabbed at a Caltex fuel outlet at Queanbeyan on Thursday night.
It was one in a series of violent incidents that night in the town just across the border from Canberra.
Evidence left at the scene of an attack — possibly involving the way the victim was killed — led police to suspect terrorism links.
Police allege one man was stabbed in the abdomen on a street close to the service station, another man was attacked with a bottle, while a fourth was attacked with a tyre iron.
The pair faced the ACT Children’s Court in Canberra on Saturday morning and have been extradited to face a NSW Children’s Court. They’ll remain in custody at Queanbeyan police watch house until then. Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force officers will charge the youths with a string of offences including murder, robbery, wounding with intent and aggravated take and drive with conveyance.
The 16-year-old is also expected to be charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
They were arrested after the second stabbing in a Queanbeyan street on Friday morning, following a police chase that ended in the ACT.
The second stabbing victim was taken to Canberra hospital with non life- threatening injuries.
Both boys appeared unemotional with arms crossed during the hearing. The mother of one of the boys sobbed into the shoulder of his aunt during the son’s court appearance.
“Love you bud,” she yelled out, as he was taken away in custody. “Chin up mate,” the aunt said.
Later outside the court, defence lawyer Paul Smith declined to comment.
“He’s not a terrorist,” the mother said, as she went to the family’s car. The father of the other boy was late and did not make it to the hearing.
Initial inquiries suggested there were links to a “modus operandi that we would suggest is indicative of a terrorist attack, inspired or otherwise.”
Asked specifically about reports the letters “IS” were written in blood on a window, Ms Burn said physical evidence left at the scene “does go to our view that this might be an act of terrorism … which has clearly led us to consider other avenues of inquiry, notably counter-terrorism related … That’s why we are interested.”
Ms Burn said there was nothing to suggest a terror attack was imminent or any ongoing threat.
“Nevertheless, the investigation is ongoing. We have a long way to go. This is in its early stages. There is a lot that we don’t know yet, there is a lot that we will find out over the next couple of days.”
– with AAP.
Online Source: The News