UK police
The 16-year-old boy is accused of trying to obtain 10 milligrams of AbrinReuters

A 16-year-old boy has appeared in court accused of attempting to obtain enough deadly poison to kill up to 200 people.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of attempting to acquire a biological toxin, or chemical agent, in a quantity not for lawful or peaceful purposes following his arrest in Mossley, Greater Manchester.

He made a brief appearance at Tameside magistrate's court charged under the Biological Weapons Act 1974 and Criminal Attempts Act 1981 accused of trying to obtain 10 milligrams of the toxin Abrin.

The court heard how 0.05 grams of the toxin is enough to kill a human.

He spoke only to confirm his name, age and address before he was remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Manchester magistrates' on 23 February court for a further hearing.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The boy was arrested following an investigation by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit. Officers assured the public there was no intelligence to suggest the Greater Manchester area was at risk.

Chief superintendent Caroline Ball said: "This investigation has arisen as a result of information from law enforcement agencies so it is prudent we act on that information and carry out a thorough, professional investigation to determine the circumstances and details of the activity reported.

"Members of our community will see a lot of police activity at these addresses over the coming days but rather than cause anxiety I want people to be reassured that we have taken this precautionary action to ensure the safety of our residents."