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Autistic boy, 13, arrested and charged with possessing ‘extremist material’ in Adelaide

An autistic 13-year-old boy has faced court in South Australia after being arrested and charged with allegedly possessing extremist material.

The teenager was granted supervised bail after appearing by video link in front of Magistrate Tracee Micallef in the Adelaide Youth Court on Thursday.

He was arrested in the city’s southern suburbs on Thursday morning, had his electronic devices seized, and was charged with one count of possessing extremist material, the Advertiser reported.

Police allege extremist material was found on the boy’s computer, and said they would need two weeks to go through all the material on his devices, 7 News reported. No information was provided to the court about the alleged contents.

Prosecutors told the court they had concerns for the boy’s mental health as he was “susceptible to negative influence”, while a defence lawyer said the accused was “sometimes not sure what’s going on or why he feels certain things” and struggling in adult custody.

The defence counsel also said the arrest was a “wake-up call for the family”.

The magistrate granted bail with conditions on the boy’s internet use requiring that he not access any electronic device that can go online, declare any internet-capable devices that come into his possession within 48 hours, and provide relevant login information.

“This is a bail agreement for a 13-year-old boy – he needs to be able to understand it,” Ms Micallef said.

The boy will face court again next week.

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