Sickening allegations have emerged about a Sydney man arrested and charged during the biggest counter-terror raids in Australia’s history. 7News reporter Robert Ovadia has received information about an alleged plot to kidnap a random person from a Sydney street, execute them by beheading, film the act and then post it to social media. Photo above is as yet unidentified Muslim suspect who was arrested in the raids.
West Australian The extent of that plot, whether that is just this individual put before the court this morning or whether it will include some of the other 15 arrested this morning remains to be seen. Police broke the news of the raids involving at least 800 officers on Twitter around 4am on Thursday.
Police on the ground in Sydney have been raiding homes of Muslims believed to have possible links to terror group ISIS. Police said 15 people had been detained in Sydney as part of the operation between NSW officers, the Australian Federal Police and ASIO.
AFP swooped in pre-dawn raids to disrupt plans to commit a violent attack on Australian soil. They executed 25 search warrants, arresting 15 people, one of which has been charged with serious terror offenses. The NSW Police Commissioner said the charge relates to an alleged plan to commit a random act of violence against a member of public on the streets.
It’s understood the raids have eclipsed 2005’s Operation Pendennis which saw more than a dozen men arrested over bomb plots in Sydney and Melbourne.
Extensive raids involving 70 officers have carried out across south-east Queensland, at Logan, Mt Gravatt and Underwood. The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the suspects are affiliated with a Brisbane man who has been charges with terror offenses.
Omar Succarieh, 31, was one of two men arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences following a series of raids in south-east Queensland last week. He’s accused of fundraising for Syria-based extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra and helping another man, Agim Kruezi, obtain funds to fight for a terror organisation overseas.
Succarieh is believed to be the brother of Ahmed Succarieh, who reportedly became Australia’s first suicide bomber in Syria last year. Logan man Kruezi, 22, has alleged links to the Islamic State group. He’s been charged with recruiting another person to IS and preparing to fight for a terror group overseas.
Both men are linked to Logan’s iQraa Islamic Centre, which was one of nine properties raided by Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police last Wednesday.
A statement from NSW Police says the operation is ongoing, and further updates will be provided in due course.
Further arrests are likely to be made later today.
UPDATE! Former actor and ‘senior ISIS figure’ Mohammad Baryalei named as man behind alleged Sydney beheading plot.
9NEWS (h/t ConcernedAussie) Sydney terror accused Omarjan Azari was allegedly working with Australia’s most senior ISIS member and Underbelly actor Mohammad Baryalei to commit acts of terror, police have said. A curved sword resembling a scimitar, emblazoned with Arabic script, was recovered from a house searched in this morning’s police raids. Azari faced Central Local Court today charged with serious terrorism-related offences.
9NEWS understands Azari is accused of plotting to abduct people off the streets and decapitate them in a manner similar to the recent ISIL beheadings of US and UK citizens in Syria. Azari allegedly intended to wrap the bodies of victims in ISIS flags and upload video of the murders online. The video would help fuel the ISIS terror campaign which has led to the formation of an international coalition to eliminate the group.
Court documents showed police have accused Azari of working with Baryalei, Fairfax Media has reported. Baryalei, 33, is believed by authorities to be a senior ISIS member who recruited at least half of the Australians fighting with the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria. He was a former bouncer and played a paramedic on Underbelly: The Golden Mile.
Azari is so far the only person charged following the raids. He did not apply for bail today and will remain in custody until the case returns to court in November.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it’s believed an Australian senior ISIS member overseas was ordering networks back in Australia to conduct “demonstration killings”.
Police raids this morning were also carried out in suburbs in and around Brisbane but police said they weren’t directly linked to the operation in Sydney.
In Sydney police executed search warrants in Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.