A covert meeting in a Sydney car park turned out to be a police sting for 18-year-old Tamim Khaja, who was last night reportedly charged with two terrorism offences related to a planned attack.
It's the ninth "imminent attack" police claim to have prevented since counter-terrorism operations began.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan said they would allege the Macquarie Park man was planning on buying a firearm and was looking for possible sights in Sydney to undertake a terrorist attack, and so an undercover police operation began, initially with text messages.
"This young person's life changed today," Gaughan said.
"When he made those decisions two weeks ago, he's now looking at life imprisonment."
We are still seeing people who want to do an attack in our country... and unfortunately, that group of people are getting younger and younger.
Fairfax Media reported police received a tip off to the National Security Hotline about Khaja.
It's also alleged he tried to join Islamic State overseas three times and was stopped at Sydney Airport in February trying to fly to Syria. His passport was cancelled.
Khaja's family home was raided yesterday and he was expected to be charged last night with preparing to commit a terrorist attack and preparation for foreign incursions. Both carry a maximum penalty of a life sentence.
Gaughan, however, cautioned: "it's important as always to look at the presumption of innocence".
Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said young Australians were vulnerable to extremist ideology.
"As of now, there have been nine imminent attacks prevented," Burn said.
"We are still seeing people who want to do an attack in our country... and unfortunately, that group of people are getting younger and younger and as we all know, youth are vulnerable, particularly around radicalisaiton."
Khaja was expected to face court today.Suggest a correction