Three Siberian schoolchildren have been charged with terrorism over an alleged plot to blow up a virtual security building in the popular block-building game Minecraft, according to reports.
Investigators in the Krasnoyarsk region announced the arrest of three 14-year-old “anarchists” over the summer on suspicion of training at abandoned sites to commit acts of terrorism. According to information obtained from the regional Federal Security Service (FSB) branch, the investigators said the unnamed suspects read banned literature and watched videos on how to make explosives.
The Baza Telegram news channel, which is said to have links to Russia's security services, reported that the authorities seized the teenagers’ phones and uncovered a plot to detonate an FSB office they had built on Minecraft.
Two of the schoolkids pleaded guilty, then claimed that investigators obtained their admission under duress with help from a state-appointed attorney, Baza reported Friday.
The third suspect who denied his guilt has been in pre-trial detention for six months, his mother Anna Uvarova told the outlet.
Baza wrote that all three now face heavier punishment under new charges of organizing a terrorist group.
The teens were reportedly arrested and their phones seized after two of them hung leaflets in support of Moscow mathematician and anarchist Azat Miftakhov, who is on trial for allegedly attacking a pro-Kremlin political party office. They hung one of the leaflets on the real FSB building, according to Baza.
The Krasnoyarsk-based ngs24.ru news website cited unnamed law enforcement sources as saying that the teenagers had explosives and planned to detonate the real FSB building. It also reported that two instead of three ninth-graders are currently in pre-trial detention on the terror charges.