A 16-year-old boy has been charged with attempting to acquire a biological weapon after being arrested in an anti-terror raid on his home.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested following an investigation by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit at an address in Mossley, Greater Manchester.
He has been charged with attempting to acquire a biological toxin or agent contrary to the Criminal Attempts Act 1981 and will appear before the Youth Bench at Tameside Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with attempting to acquire a biological weapon in Mossley, Greater Manchester – he will appear before the Youth Bench at Tameside Magistrates’ Court tomorrow
On Monday warrants were executed at two address in the Mossley area of Greater Manchester and both the 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were arrested.
The 16-year-old girl has now been released without charge.
The Manchester Evening News has reported the investigation was launched after evidence emerged of substances being purchased over the internet.
Sources at Greater Manchester Police said one line of inquiry was focused on internet activity between the two teenagers, who are believed to know each other.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ‘There is no intelligence or evidence to suggest that communities within the Mossley or Greater Manchester area are, or were, at risk in relation to this investigation.’
On Monday warrants were executed at two address in the Mossley area of Greater Manchester (pictured)
During the raids both the 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were arrested – she has been released
In a separate counter-terrorism operation a 29-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent was arrested yesterday morning in connection with suspected online posts referring to Islamic State.
He was arrested on suspicion of encouraging terrorism and supporting a proscribed organisation and has since been bailed pending further enquiries.
He was detained by officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit at his home address at approximately 7am yesterday morning.
West Midland Police said the arrest was pre-planned and intelligence led.
Yesterday, Chief Superintendent Caroline Ball of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘I know news of an arrest made under terrorism legislation in this community will cause a certain amount of anxiety and people will understandably have questions.
‘What I want to stress very clearly is that this investigation is in no way linked to any sort of international terrorist plot nor have we recovered any evidence to suggest the community of Mossley is at risk.
‘This investigation has arisen as a result of information from law enforcement agencies so it is prudent we act on that information and carry out a thorough, professional investigation to determine the circumstances and details of the activity reported.
‘Members of our community will see a lot of police activity at these addresses over the coming days but rather than cause anxiety I want people to be reassured that we have taken this precautionary action to ensure the safety of our residents.’
Anyone with concerns about suspicious activity should contact local officers or the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
Greater Manchester Police (headquarters pictured) said there is no evidence to suggest the community were at risk at any point during the investigation