Five Teenagers Arrested on Terror Charges in Church Stabbling Fallout

An investigation into the horrific church stabbing in Sydney’s west led to the charging of five teens with terror and extremism-related charges. 

At around 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, thirteen residences in the city’s southwest were searched by a combined counter-terrorism squad of more than 400 policemen from federal and state agencies. Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was stabbed on April 15 at the Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, western Sydney, prompting widespread searches. 

A social media celebrity with a global following, the bespectacled Emmanuel is a bishop at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the Sydney suburb of Wakefield. He is an outspoken opponent of homosexuality, COVID-19 vaccines, Islam, and the election of Joe Biden as the president of the United States. 

Australian authorities openly clashed with billionaire Elon Musk and his social media business X over their reluctance to heed an order to delete all footage of the stabbing from the site. 

The outcome was a federal court ruling in favor of the eSafety Commission, which led to an interim injunction mandating that X conceal the recordings of the Sydney church stabbing on a worldwide scale by putting a notice behind them. A Christian sect with global headquarters in Iraq, the Assyrian Church has its roots in what is now Iran, Syria, and Turkey.

Emmanuel was assaulted only days after a horrific stabbing spree in Bondi. Sydney is among the safest in the world, and crimes using weapons are uncommon.

The 16-year-old was taken into custody after the police deemed the event—which was shown live on the church’s livestream—a terror act with religious overtones. After discovering a WhatsApp group on the suspect’s phone, police conducted raids on Wednesday at the houses of his accomplices in connection with the accused youth terror cell. According to the police, an adolescent terror cell is active in the southwest suburbs of Sydney. One of the accused members of this cell is a juvenile relative of an adult incarcerated for terrorism-related crimes.

The Sydney Children’s Court will hear the case of all five juveniles on Thursday after they were all denied bail.