TWO teenage boys have been arrested and charged after allegedly planning to carry out a “catastrophic” massacre at a small town country high school in South Australia.
The boys, aged 16 and 18, are accused of planning to use guns, knives and bombs in a full-scale military-style attack on staff and students at Renmark High School in the state’s Riverland region, sometime before the end of the year.
The threat first came to the attention of police on November 3 and the boys were arrested soon after, police said.
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Police say officers subsequently raided the 16-year-old boy’s home on November 7 and uncovered a frightening stockpile of weapons, including knives, material to make homemade bombs and plenty of body armour.
The teens had allegedly spent several months planning the attack, which police said would have been “catastrophic” and would have likely resulted in significant loss of life and casualties, had it not been thwarted.
The attack would have had a devastating impact on the town of Renmark, which has a population of just 7,400.
The 16-year-old has since been charged with one count of solicit to murder, while the older teen has been charged with multiple aggravated counts of threatening to kill. Both have been in custody since November 7.
The juvenile will face court on December 5. The 18-year-old will front Adelaide Magistrates Court on January 30.
The offence of soliciting to murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Due to the serious nature of the investigation, details of the alleged plot and subsequent police operation were only made public on Wednesday.
Anyone with information that may be of use to police, and have not already been interviewed, is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.