A 17-year-old boy has been caught apparently trying to fly out of Australia to join conflicts in the Middle East.
The teenager was taken off a plane at Sydney airport on 12 March and interviewed by counter-terrorism officers, immigration minister Peter Dutton revealed on Wednesday.
He is the third teenager government officials have intercepted among about 200 people stopped from heading overseas to become foreign fighters with terrorist groups.
The boy has been returned to his family and the Australian federal police and Asio are investigating the matter.
Prime minister Tony Abbott said while it was hard to believe people who had grown up in Australia’s free and open society could be susceptible to brainwashing by extremist groups such as Islamic State, it was clearly happening.
“It is very dangerous for you. It is very dangerous for others,” he told reporters in Canberra. “We will do everything we can to stop you if you do try.”