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Austrian teens face trial over ‘jihadist plot to kill police officers’

By ethan / February 13, 2018

Two Austrian teenagers and a young Chechen charged with plotting to kill as many police officers as possible in a jihadist attack are facing trial in Vienna.

The 22-year-old Chechen, who fled to Austria as a child in 2005, along with two 19-year olds, will stand trial on Wednesday, according to Austrian news agency APA, which reportedly saw a prosecutors’ charge sheet.

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 El Shafee el-Sheikh (L) and Alexanda Kotey (R). © Syrian Democratic Forces

The Chechen Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) member known as Abus Nuuh instructed one of the teens to shoot police officers in 2015, a court spokeswoman said. The plot was foiled by authorities after they discovered an internet chat about the planned attack between one of the suspects and a German man, who was also accused of plotting his own jihadist bomb attack with the help of another Austrian teen, Reuters reports.

READ MORE: Austrian govt calls for ‘restrictive asylum policy’ amid growing foreign crime rate

The suspects, who were reportedly radicalized by IS in 2015, planned to steal weapons from a shop in Sankt Polten, the capital of Lower Austria province, and attack the local police station, shooting as many officers as possible before they themselves were killed.

The plan was to shoot at police officers until we die,” Nuuh told officers in a confession. The suspects later said they did not plan to go through with the attack. The trial is expected to be held under tight security.

An estimated 300 people have left or attempted to leave Austria to fight in Syria since 2012, APA reported, citing the Interior Ministry spokesman. Around 40 of those have died there, and 90 have returned to Austria.

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