Counter-terrorism police have arrested two 16-year-old boys over an incident in Sydney’s south-west.

Officers seized two knives, one allegedly a bayonet, when a pair of 16-year-old boy were arrested on Fetherstone Street at Bankstown. The arrests were part of an ongoing operation.The police have also stated that one of the boys was questioned two years ago by New South Wales Police and the Australian Federal Police over an incident at his school.

The incident involved him refusing to stand for the national anthem at the morning assembly of his school – East Hills Boys High School – in June 2014 when the boy was 14. When questioned why he would not stand for the national anthem, the boy said “he only stands for God”, “does not respect this country” and “this country sends troops to Afghanistan to kill our men and rape our women”.

Police believe the boy also attended the 2012 Hyde Park Riots and held a sign saying: “Behead all those who insult the prophet.” At the time of the school incident, police held concerns the boy may have radicalized other students at his school.

The two men remain in custody and police say there is no ongoing threat to the community.

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