A 22-year-old arrested at Sydney airport as he was trying to leave Australia for Syria on Thursday has been charged for preparing to enter a foreign country with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.
In a statement released on Thursday night, NSW Police confirmed the 22-year-old Panania man was arrested around 10am at Sydney's International Airport and the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team later charged him "with one count of Preparations for incursions into foreign countries for purpose of engaging in hostile activities,".
The man has been refused bail and is expected to appear at Central Local Court on Friday. The maximum sentence for a charge of this nature is life imprisonment.
NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team charge man with terrorism offences https://t.co/JiW9gVzNlq— NSW Police (@nswpolice) June 15, 2017
Earlier, NSW Police alleged the man attempted to leave Sydney to go to the Syrian war zone to fight for ISIS. The man was shown in a Police post on Twitter wearing tracksuit pants, sneakers and a woolen beanie, being escorted away, wearing handcuffs.
NSW Police arrest 22 yr old man at Sydney Airport allegedly attempting to leave for Syria. More details to follow. pic.twitter.com/3g5XJ51yl5— NSW Police (@nswpolice) June 14, 2017
Police told media the man is 'known to police' for minor matters and they'd been monitoring for about five months before today's arrest.
The arrest is the result of an ongoing investigation by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team, involving the NSW Police Force, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.
In an earlier statement, NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner, Dave Hudson, Commander of Investigations and Counter Terrorism, said there was no current or impending threat to the community.
"In light of recent events, both at home and overseas, it is now more important than ever for the community and police to continue to work together," Deputy Commissioner Hudson said.
Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney, National Manager Counter Terrorism, said: "We have zero tolerance for Australians who seek to commit acts of violence or extremism. Those that are looking to do the wrong thing should recognise that the AFP and our partners will continue to work together to address this criminal activity."
Police are urging anyone with information to come forward, no matter how small or insignificant the information might be.
The National Security Hotline is 1800 123400.
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