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Man Charged With Terror Offence After Melbourne Police Raids

The Victorian man believes the charges are a conspiracy against the 'patriot movement'.

06/08/2016 2:30 PM AEST | Updated August 7, 2016 16:26
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Victoria's Counter Terrorism team conducted wide-scale raids in Melbourne's north-west.

A Victorian man has been charged with preparing a terrorist act following wide-scale, anti-terror raids in Melbourne on Saturday.

31-year-old Phillip Galea, from Braybook in Melbourne's west, was charged with collecting or making documents likely to facilitate a terrorist act and planning or preparing for a terrorist act.

He was arrested by police on Saturday during joint counter-terrorism raids in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Victoria's Joint Counter Terrorism Team, including officers from the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police, executed 4 warrants across the state on Saturday afternoon.

Two warrants were made at Braybook, in west Melbourne, one at Bacchus March in the city's north-west and another at Tatura in central Victoria, near Shepparton.

Commissioner Guenther said the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation that was of no immediate threat to the public.

"Earlier this year, we received information that suggested there was an individual looking at advocating the admission of harm towards Victorian individuals or producing documents that might lead to the causation of harm to members of the community," he said.

"We followed that line of inquiry for several months which has culminated in the execution of the warrants this afternoon."

Guenther said he was not in a position to confirm the location or specifics of the terror threat, but said police were concerned that the threat to the public was escalating.

"I think we've interrupted something that could have been harmful to our community," he said.

The man fronted the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Sunday for a brief hearing. He said he would fight the charges, believing them to be "a conspiracy" against the "patriot movement".

He is due to reappear in court for a committal hearing on August 9.

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