This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission.
Members of the New South Wales Joint Counter Terrorism Team (NSW JCTT) today arrested a man from Sydney’s south-west in relation to alleged terrorism offences.
The 21-year-old Riverwood man is expected to be charged with three offences, including acts done in preparation for and advocating for possible terrorist acts. He is expected to appear before court at a later stage.
NSW JCTT investigators became aware of the activities of this man as a result of another JCTT investigation, and have worked to ensure the ongoing safety of the community. Investigators have not identified any specific and impending threat.
It will be alleged in court that the man created and posted increasingly extremist material on social media, and downloaded a document on basic weapons and tactics that police allege could be used to facilitate a terrorist act. It will further be alleged he actively attempted to influence teenagers to adopt and act upon his extremist views.
A number of electronic items were seized from the man’s residence and will be subject to further forensic examination.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Ian McCartney said despite the challenges posed with investigating people operating in an online environment, the JCTT remains committed to protecting the community from extremist ideologies.
“Community safety is the prime consideration of all our investigations. There was no specific or immediate threat associated with this investigation, but the activities of this man were of a significant concern that we have responded to evidence of alleged criminal actions,” he said.
NSW Police Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said officers from the JCTT would not falter in their commitment to protecting the community from individuals that seek to cause harm.
“The message couldn’t be clearer – there is no place for violent extremism in our community, and all law enforcement agencies will continue to work together to identify and prosecute individuals involved in these activities,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.
“While there was no specific threat in relation to this individual, the alleged actions of this man were of significant concern to the NSW JCTT, and we have responded accordingly.”
The Riverwood man is expected to be charged with the following offences:
- Other acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts contrary to section 101.6 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
- Membership of a terrorist organisation, contrary to section 102.3 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
- Advocating terrorism, contrary to section 80.2C(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is five years imprisonment.
The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team comprises the NSW Police Force, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.