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Man arrested on terror offences after AFP counter-terror operation in Young, NSW

One man has been arrested in an n Federal Policecounter-terror operation in the NSW town of Young.

Haisem Zahab, 42, fromCherry Vale Road,Young, has been arrested and charged with a number of offences relating to terrorism.

Mr Zahab did not apply for bail when he appeared before Young Local Court on Tuesday afternoon, and it was formally refused by magistrate Peter Dare.

Mr Zahab will be held in custody before appearingin the Paramatta Local Court on Wednesday, March 8, via audio-visual link.

Mr Zahab has been charged with giving and receiving goods andservices to promote commission of section 119.1 offence between 12am on December 1, 2014 and and February28, 2017 at Young.

He was also charged with intentionallyperforming services for a body, being Islamic State with the research, design, and modelling of a long-range missile and a guidance system for the missile with the intention of supporting or promoting the commission of an offence against section 119.1 of the criminal code and for the research and design of a laser warning receiving with theintention of supporting or promoting the commission of an offence against section 119.1 of the criminal code.

Magistrate Peter Dare said these charges could carry life sentences.

The Commonwealth prosecutor Ms L Thompson would not confirm if the appearance via audio-visual linkwas for security reasons, only saying it was the instructions she had been given.


— Bec Hewson (@bec_hewson) February 28, 2017

It is alleged the man, a 42-year-old n-born electrician, attempted to research and design a laser warning device and missiles for Islamic State.

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said: “With these offences, we will allege that he has utilised the internet to perform services for ISIL, activities in the Syria and Iraq conflict, from in the following ways.

“Firstly, by researching and designing a laser warning device to help warn against incoming guided munitions used by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq. And secondly, we will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist ISIL’s efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities.”

Mr Colvin said the alleged advice provided by the “technically-trained” manwas “fairly sophisticated and well-planned”.

“We will be alleging that the material that he was intending to provide to ISIL, the research he was doing, was credible,” he said.

Dozens of officers descended on a semi-rural property in Cherry Vale Placeearly on Tuesday morning and began a search.

Some were seen to use metal detectors to search the ground, while NSW Police officers from the dog squad stood nearby.

Mr Colvin said it is believed the man acted alone. No further arrests are expected.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the arrest highlighted a need for ns to remain vigilant.

“This highlights thatterrorism, support for terrorist groups, and Islamist extremism is not limited to our major cities,” he told a briefing at Parliament House in Canberra.

“This is yet another example of the excellent work the men and women of the n Federal Police and all our security agencies are doing in identifying and disrupting alleged assistance to ISIL.”

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said Tuesday’s raid, carried out by NSW Police in conjunction with the AFP, came after a year and a half of investigation.

“The arrest today is the result of an 18-month-long operation and it reminds us that whether you are in a capital city planning an attack on home soil or whether you are in a small country town, trying to assist the terrorist state in the Middle East, you will get caught,” he said.

More to come

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