Teenager accused of plotting mass killing was arrested in Adelaide CBD

An Adelaide teenager accused of plotting a mass killing was allegedly caught near Rundle Mall armed with weapons including a Molotov cocktail.

The 17-year-old boy — who cannot be identified for legal reasons — faced the Adelaide Youth Court charged with possessing an item with the intent to kill or cause harm.

Magistrate Ted Iuliano said the boy was facing serious charges and was a serious risk to the community.

Court documents allege the boy had the components and fuel to make a Molotov cocktail, as well as knives and scissors with the intention to kill people late last week.

He was apprehended by police from the Counter Terrorism and Security Section near Rundle Mall just after midnight on January 20, whilst allegedly looking for an industrial bin he could set fire to, in order to create a diversion of emergency response crews while he attacked the target location by Molotov cocktail.

He was charged with possessing an item with an intent to kill or cause harm.

“The accused stated that if he was not apprehended by police, he had full intentions of carrying out the attack,” the court documents state.

The documents also state the accused told police his plans involved burning an occupied shop or nightclub with the intention of killing 25 people before taking his own life, in order to gain “notoriety”.

“The accused traveled by bus and tram to Glenelg, however no suitable high-density location was selected,” the documents state.

“The accused traveled from Glenelg to the city.”

According to the documents, the boy — who is in the care of the Department for Child Protection — told a youth worker the night before “he was going out and ‘killing so many people I will be on the news tomorrow'”.

The youth worker then allegedly reported the boy missing.

A metal sign on a building saying YOUTH COURT
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in the Adelaide Youth Court.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

Court documents further stated he was arrested just after midnight by STAR operations, with police seizing a diary detailing plans for a mass-killing event.

Police allege the boy also had a white T-shirt with the handwritten motif ‘NATURAL SELECTION’, numerous notebooks containing drafts of his plan to kill as many people as possible — stating that it would be more than the Columbine High School massacre.

According to the documents, the boy told the police in his interview that he identified as one of the Columbine school shooters and had “a similar outlook”, even etching the name of that shooter on his knives.

He had also allegedly tried to source a handgun and ammunition, and the court documents state that a diary entry outlined he would source it in the next few days.

The teenager allegedly told police he had practiced, filmed and carried out research into the effectiveness of his Molotov cocktails.

Police are expecting to lay further charges after the teenager’s digital devices are analysed.

On Wednesday, the court heard a risk assessment had not yet been done by the Fixed Risk Assessment team — a counter-terrorism team — and the boy was yet to be assessed by a psychiatrist.

He has been remanded in youth detention to face court again in March.

SA Police said that, following the arrest of the boy last Friday, there were no longer “safety concerns for the public” and that the investigation was ongoing.

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