Parents feared Canadian teen could carry out terror attack: prosecutor

Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:51pm EDT
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By Nelson Wyatt

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The youngest person on trial for terrorism offenses in Canada was spiraling out of control before his arrest, with his parents fearful he could carry out an attack, a prosecutor told a Montreal youth court on Tuesday.

The 16-year-old boy's mother was not aware of any specific plans, but expressed her fears to police after he was arrested in October 2014 for robbing a Montreal convenience store when he was 15, prosecutor Lyne Decarie said.

The teen, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, admitted to the robbery but has pleaded not guilty to trying to use the stolen money to join a terrorist group in Syria.

The boy's father, who immigrated from Algeria with his family in 2003, denounced his own son to police in October 2014 after discovering a bag hidden behind their home containing a mask, knife and cash.

RCMP have said Montreal police alerted the federal force when they realized the youth had become radicalized.

The defense, which tried unsuccessfully to get the charges dismissed last week, has said there is no proof the teen was linked to a terrorist organization.

In her closing arguments at the youth's trial, Decarie painted a picture of a family in crisis as they struggled to deal with the teen.

The 16-year-old boy was sullen and spent most of his time in his room, looking at Internet articles and photos of the war in Syria which have been used by some groups to radicalize teens, Decarie told the court.   Continued...