Source: Australian Federal Police
A 39-year-old man has been charged with preparation for foreign incursions as part of a Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) investigation into a group involved in travelling to Syria to engage in hostile activity.
It will be alleged the man played a senior role in a Brisbane-based group which maintained a religiously motivated violent extremist ideology and a desire to travel to Syria to engage in hostile activities.
The man was arrested on a Queensland warrant by members of the New South Wales JCTT on Friday, 16 July 2021 when he arrived in Australia at Sydney International Airport from Saudi Arabia, where he had been located since 2019.
The man was subject to mandatory quarantine before being extradited to Queensland yesterday (Tuesday, 3 August 2021).
Police will allege the man was a founding senior figure in an organisation involved with providing financial aid to people who subsequently departed Australia to participate in the Syrian conflict with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group engaged in hostile activities against Syrian government forces.
The 39-year-old man has been charged with preparations for incursions into foreign States for purpose of engaging in hostile activities, contrary to s7(1)(e) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth).
The maximum penalty if convicted of this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
He appeared briefly before Brisbane Magistrates Court today (Wednesday, 4 August, 2021). The matter was adjourned and the man will reappear in Court tomorrow (Thursday, 5 August 2021).
There is no ongoing threat to the community relating to this investigation.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Scott Lee said the arrest shows the QLD JCTT is committed to keeping the community safe.
“The AFP will continue to discourage and disrupt Australians from fighting overseas and holding people to account for their involvement in supporting terrorism and terrorist organisations,” he said.
“The arrest highlights the hard work and professionalism of the people and agencies involved in the JCTTs around Australia and their dedication to protect the community.”
Queensland Police Service (QPS) Security and Counter-Terrorism Command Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz said the QPS was proud to continue working with the AFP to support investigations such as this to prevent and disrupt any form of terrorism.
“Our agencies continue to work collaboratively not just in investigating and prosecuting offenders but also in the field of prevention and early intervention through to responding and disrupting terrorist activity,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said.
“Working together in the Queensland JCTT ensures we can provide ongoing attention and resources to keep Queenslanders safe.”
The Queensland JCTT is comprised of members of the Australian Federal Police, Queensland Police Service and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297