Teenagers plotted to attack Jewish people after bishop stabbed in Sydney church, police allege

Four teenagers plotted to buy guns and attack Jewish people days after a bishop was stabbing in a Sydney church, police are reported to have said.

The boys, a 15-year-old, 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds allegedly used an encrypted messaging app called Signal to plan their attack.

"I wanna die and I wanna kill... I'm just excited... Is your plan to get caught or die or escape?" a 17-year-old allegedly said in a group chat on 20 April.

To which the 16-year-old allegedly responded: "We're gonna be planning for a while... we prefer to escape, but whatever happens, it's the qadr (predetermination) of Allah," News Corp Australia newspapers reported.

In a separate message exchange, the 15-year-old allegedly said: "I really want to target the yahood," meaning Jewish people.

Last week, five teenagers aged 14 to 17 were charged with a range of offences, including conspiring to engage in or planning a terrorist act.

Police alleged they were all part of a network that included a 16-year-old who has been charged with a terrorist act after stabbing Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel during a service at the Assyrian Christ the Good Shepherd Church on 15 April.

Speaking about the church attacker, one of the teenagers reportedly said: "I know the bloke who done it," adding: "He's my mate."

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According to News Corp - citing a police fact sheet - two of the defendants charged last week discussed buying guns on 19 April, the same day the bishop's alleged attacker was charged.

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

New South Wales Police could not immediately confirm the accuracy of the newspaper reports or provide a copy of the police fact sheet allegedly referred to in Sydney Children's Court.

'I wish you nothing but the best'

Bishop Emmanuel gave his first sermon since the stabbing on Sunday, during which he wore an eyepatch to cover a knife wound.

Applauded by the congregation, the 53-year-old said: "To the young man who did this act almost two weeks ago, I say to you, my dear, you are my son and you will always be my son.

"I will always pray for you. I wish you nothing but the best."

The parents of the alleged attacker told the Australian Broadcasting Corp that he was violent and had suspected autism spectrum disorder, but denied he was a terrorist.

They said they had been hiding for fear of retaliatory acts after riots broke out around the church within hours of the stabbing.