This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Police Service.
Members of the Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team (Qld JCTT) today charged a man from the Gold Coast in relation to alleged terrorism offences.
The 30-year-old Gold Coast man has been charged with five offences engaging in hostile activity in a foreign state, membership of a terrorist organisation, providing support to a terrorist organisation and advocating for possible terrorist acts. He is expected to appear before court at a later stage.
Qld JCTT investigators will allege that between July and September 2013 the man entered Syria via Turkey and subsequently became a member of Jabhat al-Nusra (now known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham), which is a proscribed terrorist organisation.
It will be further alleged that during this same period the man engaged in hostile activities as a member of the organisation.
Over the weekend, the man was deported from Turkey to Australia.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Ian McCartney said anyone fighting with, providing support to or associating with terrorist groups is committing a serious crime and will be subject to the law.
“Fighting with or supporting a terrorist organisation carries heavy penalties, including the potential for life imprisonment.
“The safety of the community is our prime consideration and this arrest demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Australian authorities to protecting Australians from the threat of violent extremism,” Assistant Commissioner McCartney said.
Queensland Police Service Assistant Commissioner, Security and Counter Terrorism Command, Peter Fleming said all appropriate safety and security measures had been implemented and the man did not pose a current or impending threat to the community.
“The Queensland Police Service remains committed to working with our partner state and federal agencies to keep the community safe against the ongoing threat of violent extremism.
“The Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team is a dedicated amalgam of investigators and intelligence officers from the Queensland Police Service, Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. This result is a credit to their hard work and commitment to community safety,” Assistant Commissioner Fleming said.
The man has been charged with the following offences:
- Engaging in hostile activity in a foreign state, contrary to section 6(1) (b) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978. The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years imprisonment.
- Engaging in hostile activity in a foreign country contrary to section 119.1(2) of the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
- Membership of a terrorist organisation, contrary to section 102.3(1) of the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
- Providing support to a terrorist organisation contrary to Section 102.7(1) of the Criminal Code. The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.
- Advocating terrorism contrary to section 80.2C (1) of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth of Australia). The maximum penalty for this offence is five years imprisonment.
The Qld Joint Counter Terrorism Team is comprised of the Australian Federal Police, Queensland Police Service and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.