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Man Arrested By AFP In Counter-Terror Raid Near Young, NSW

Police are currently searching properties.

28/02/2017 3:34 PM AEDT | Updated 28/02/2017 6:07 PM AEDT

A 42-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly helping ISIS to detect and develop high-tech missiles, authorities say.

The man was arrested after AFP counter-terrorism raids in the town of Young near Canberra.

The alleged offence does not involve any planned domestic attack, and it is understood authorities are currently searching properties in the area in relation to an ongoing matter.

"Police will allege that the man arrested has sought to advise ISIL on how to develop high-tech weapons capability," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the media on Tuesday.

"The police will allege that this individual, in a regional centre, acted with intent to provide ISIL with the capability, with the technical capability, and high-tech capability, to detect and develop missiles."

Turnbull also confirmed the arrest does not involve any planning of a domestic attack by ISIL in Australia.

But, he said the incident acts as a reminder of the continuing threat of Islamic State terror.

"I'm advised... that the evidence uncovered to date does not involve immediate domestic attack planning. But it is yet another reminder of the enduring threat we face from Islamist terrorism," he said.

"The men and women of the Australian Defence Force are playing a very substantial role in the defeat of ISIL in the field. And the destruction of their so-called caliphate. And we should always be very proud of their efforts, and grateful for what they do."

Since Australia's terrorism threat level was upgraded in September 2014 to "probable", four attacks terrorist attacks have occurred across the nation, 12 attacks have been disrupted by federal police and 61 people charged in relation to alleged terror offences, he said.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the arrest on Tuesday comes as a result of an 18-month-long operation and confirmed the accused individual will face a possible maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

"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.

"The charges in this case, which are expected to be laid are serious offences and because of the new tougher penalties we have these charges will now attract a maximum penalty of life imprisonment."

Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Andrew Colvin told the media the individual is an Australian citizen and electrician who is believed to have strong connections with ISIL.

Colvin said the man will be charged with a number of offences, including two serious foreign incursion offences which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

"With these offences we will allege he has utilised the internet to perform services for ISIL activities in the Syria and Iraq conflict," he said.

Colvin also confirmed police allege the individual is technically trained and has researched and designed systems to assist ISIL with its long-range missile capabilities as well as lasers designed to distract incoming munition attacks in the field.

"This is an ongoing matter and we believe he has networks and contacts in ISIL -- not necessarily just in the conflict zones but in other parts of the world as well and he has been relying on them to pass this information," he said.

The man is expected to appear in Young Local Court on Tuesday.



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