Two Brisbane men, including the older brother of a man linked to the iQraa Islamic Centre at Underwood, face terrorism charges after Australian Federal Police raided the store and seven homes on Brisbane’s south side. It will be alleged that the men were involved in recruiting, facilitating and funding people to travel to Syria to engage in terror activities.
Adelaide Now (h/t Colin W & Marina) Police later told a media conference the raids had been a culmination of a 12-month operation, and the alleged offences had no connection to the so-called Islamic State currently spreading terror across northern Iraq and Syria.There was also no suggestion of plotting of terror attacks within Australia, including at the G20 summit in Brisbane later this year.
Nearly 200 officers had been involved in simultaneous raids across seven properties. The charges come after an Islamic book store and drop-in centre south of Brisbane was raided by the Australian Federal Police this morning. Officers were still on scene at the iQraa Islamic Centre on Logan Rd, Underwood several hours after the raid. Two men were arrested.
At the same time, there were seven raids on homes in the suburbs of Kuraby, Underwood and Springwood. The arrests resulted from a Joint Counter Terrorism Team investigation carried out by agencies including the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service.
Holes were also found in a window at the iQraa centre, but police said it was not yet known if they were bullet holes.
Outside, a customer, Abu Amam, defended the store. “It’s just a simple bookstore selling perfumes to Korans,” he told a media pack. There’s nothing radical whatsoever. I just don’t understand all the hysteria.” (The quran IS radical)
Last week, The Courier Mail revealed how the store was being run by a man believed to be the brother of Australia’s first suicide bomber in Syria, who was promoting extremism among Muslims. The Courier-Mail has been told that the iQraa Islamic Centre at Underwood had developed ties to firebrand Perth preacher Mohammed Junaid Thorne. The centre this year “promoted’’ and helped raise funds for two “sermons’’ by the self-styled preacher, who is a vocal supporter of jihad and has had ties to the Australian branch of the Millatu Ibrahim group, which is banned in Germany.
A key figure in the bookshop is Omar Succarieh, who in an online promotional video is described as “one of the main brothers’’ at the centre. Succarieh’s brother Ahmed has been investigated by Australian agencies in relation to a suicide bombing in Syria, where a truck laden with 12 tonnes of explosives was driven into an army checkpoint last September, killing 35.
But a spokesman for the store condemned the “traitorous actions” of the insider who exposed its ties to firebrand Perth preacher Thorne.The centre responded by posting a statement on its Facebook page rejecting what it said were “ridiculous claims”.
The raids came as Premier Campbell Newman said he had sought advice from Police Commissioner Ian Stewart following news of a rising terror threat to Australia.