An investigation conducted by the New South Wales Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) has resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old Macquarie Park man today for allegedly planning a terrorist act.
The JCTT – comprising of officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police, ASIO, and other government agencies – arrested the teenager in Parramatta earlier today.
He was taken to Parramatta Police Station, where it is expected he will be charged with one count of Acts in preparation for, or planning, a Terrorist Act, contrary to Section 101.6 of the Criminal Code (Cth), and one count of Preparations for incursions into foreign countries for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities, contrary to Section 119.4 of the Criminal Code (Cth).
These offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
AFP Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan said today’s activity highlights the effectiveness of the JCTT and its cooperative nature, but was another example of a disturbing trend of Australians allegedly subscribing to terrorist ideologies.
“Police take no pleasure in locking up another young Australian who we will allege was planning a terrorist act in Sydney,” Acting DC Gaughan said.
“We have taken swift action today to ensure the ongoing safety of the community and we are satisfied the threat posed has been mitigated.
“The primary focus of the operation has been to keep Australia, and all Australians, safe.”
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Specialist Operations Catherine Burn said law enforcement will continue to act in the interests of ensuring the safety of the community.
“We have repeatedly shown we will take swift action to ensure public safety,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
“This is another example of how our cooperative counter-terrorism effort was able to move quickly to prevent someone wanting and planning to do harm to members of the community.
“Once again we have a young person charged with an extremely serious offence and this continues to be a major concern to us, and should be to the broader community.”
The 18-year-old is expected to appear in Parramatta Court today (Tuesday, 17 May 2016).
An earlier AFP statement said the teen’s arrest was not related to Operation Middleham nor search warrants being executed in Victoria today.
If you see or hear or become aware of any suspicious activity, report it to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000