Reports say 4 teens planned to buy guns, attack Jews in Sydney after Church stabbing

File: Security officers stand guard outside the Assyrian Orthodox Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney, Australia, April 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
File: Security officers stand guard outside the Assyrian Orthodox Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney, Australia, April 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Four teenagers plotted to buy guns and attack Jewish people days after a bishop was stabbed in a Sydney church, news reports say, citing police documents.

Five teens, aged 14 to 17, were charged in a Sydney court on Thursday last week with a range of offenses including conspiring to engage in or planning a terrorist act.

Police alleged they all “adhered to a religiously motivated, violent extremist ideology” and were part of a network that included a 16-year-old boy charged with stabbing Assyrian Orthodox Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel on April 15 as a church service was being streamed online.

According to a police fact sheet tendered to the Sydney Children’s Court, two of the defendants charged last week discussed buying guns on April 19, the same day the bishop’s alleged attacker was charged, News Corp Australia newspapers report.

Gun ownership is heavily restricted in Australia under tough national laws, but there is a black market for firearms in Sydney.

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