Autistic 13-year-old boy encouraged by counter-terrorism police in his fixation on Islamic State

An NDIS recipient with an IQ of 71, was reported to police by his parents because of his fixation with Islamic State.
08 February 2024
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Counter-terrorism police have come under scrutiny after encouraging an autistic 13-year-old boy's obsession with Islamic State as part of an undercover operation, which included him accessing extremist material online and making threats to other students.

The boy, given the name Thomas Carrick, was later charged with terror offences. The court found that an undercover officer had "influenced" and disrupted Thomas and his parents' rehabilitation efforts.

Despite an earlier bail being revoked due to non-compliance, Thomas was granted bail after spending three months in custody. Reportedly, Thomas's parents sought help from the authorities because of his fixation, including accessing extremist material online and making threats to other students.

The Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT), comprising Australian federal police, Victoria police, and Asio members, investigated and charged Thomas with two terror offences.

Magistrate Lesley Fleming criticised the police for encouraging racial hatred, distrust of police, and violent extremism, and for misrepresenting their actions as a rehabilitation service. Fleming also found that the JCTT intentionally delayed charging Thomas until after he turned 14 to limit his defense options.

Additionally, the police conducted an inappropriate search of Thomas's property. A psychologist working with Thomas's case manager noted that Thomas's verbalisations need to be understood in the context of his autism spectrum disorder and possible cognitive impairment.

- CyberBeat


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