Australian Police Charge UNSW Staffer With Terror Plotting

Alan Cheung
By Alan Cheung
August 31, 2018World News

Australia has arrested and charged a Sri Lankan man with planning a terror attack after finding “symbolic locations within Sydney” listed as possible targets in his notebook, police said at a press conference on Aug. 31.

The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) arrested Mohamed Nizamdeen from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Kensington, around 2 p.m. on Aug. 30, JCTT stated on its website, after authorities allege that documents containing plans to facilitate terror attacks were found on campus.

Sheehy said they were handed a notebook that listed a number of locations and individuals as potential targets, but that the contents needed further analysis.

He said that the locations are places around Sydney and when asked by a reporter if they could be considered as landmarks, Sheehy said that “they could be interpreted as that way.”

The 25-year-old was charged with preparation, engagement, or assistance in a terror act.

On Aug. 31, a search warrant was executed for the man’s unit at Defries Avenue, Zetland, around 2 a.m. JCTT found electronic items that are now the subject of further examination.

Later the same day, authorities used another warrant to search his workplace at UNSW.

When a reporter asked whether there would be any further arrests, Sheehy said that “at this stage it appears that the individual is operating on his own.”

“From the documentation, he would affiliate with ISIS,” Sheehy added.

“We have both psychologists and investigators looking at that document to try to interpret the intent and capability,” Sheehy said. “But that is in essence the offence that is before the court.”

Sheehy ruled out any ongoing threat to the public, adding that the 25-year-old had not yet organised the “capability” to launch an attack.

Reuters was not immediately able to trace the contacts for the man’s lawyer or other representatives to seek comment.

Australia has been on heightened alert since 2015, with intelligence agencies having stepped up scrutiny for attacks by home-grown terrorists returning from fighting in the Middle East.

Authorities say Australia’s vigilance has helped to foil at least a dozen plots, including plans to attack downtown Melbourne at Christmas in 2016 and a plot to blow up a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

In Dec. 2014, two hostages were killed during a 17-hour siege by a “lone wolf” gunman, inspired by ISIS terrorists, in Lindt cafe in Sydney.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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