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Two Charged After Counter-Terrorism Raids

Two men, 17 and 24, were arrested during investigations into alleged foreign incursions offences.

03/11/2016 9:00 AM AEDT | Updated 03/11/2016 2:44 PM AEDT
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ABC News 24
NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said foreign fighters had an 'intent to kill'.

A teenager and a 24-year-old man have been charged after raids as part of NSW counter-terrorism operations targeting foreign incursion.

Early morning raids on Thursday saw the two men arrested. NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said police would allege the 24 year old had travelled to Syria to "engage in hostile activities" while the 17-year-old man attempted to go in January.

Searches were being carried out in the Sydney suburbs of Bass Hill, Merrylands, Swansea Park and Miller.

Burn said people who travelled to Syria to join terrorist groups had an 'intent to kill'.

"There is a conflict, they use weapons, they use IEDs and they have an intent to kill people, so they might then become desensitised," she said.

On Thursday afternoon, the AFP confirmed the two men had been formally charged. The 17-year-old has been charged with one count of prepare to engage in commission of offence against section 119.1 of the Criminal Code Act, which relates to "incursions into foreign countries with the intention of engaging in hostile activities"; and one count of give/receive goods/services to promote section 119.1 offence. The maximum penalty for these offences are life imprisonment.

The 24-year-old, from Merrylands, has been charged with one count of incursions into foreign states with the intention of engaging in hostile activities, with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

Both men were expected to front court on Thursday.

Burn said the younger man's age was part of a worrying trend whereby underage men attempted to travel overseas to join terrorism groups.

"Of concern again we have a juvenile who appears to be involved, and we will allege is involved potentially in wanting to engage in hostile activities, and this is a continuing concern for us," Burn said to media.

The men were expected to face court today.

Australian Federal Police released a statement saying the teenager was expected to be charged with one count of 'prepare to engage in commission of offence against section 119.1, contrary to section 119.4(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and one count of give/receive goods/services to promote section 119.1 offence, contrary to section 119.4(5) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)'. The maximum penalty for these offences are life imprisonment.

The 24-year-old was expected to be charged with 'one count of incursions into foreign states with the intention of engaging in hostile activities, contrary to section 6(1)(a) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978. The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years imprisonment'.

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