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Anti-terror raids - Sydney, Brisbane


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  • Anti-terror raids - Sydney, Brisbane

    Largest anti-terror raids in Australian history. Great work to all involved.


    The emerging reality of terrorism in Australia struck home just before dawn today when more than 800 police launched synchronised raids on houses and vehicles across Sydney's west and north-west, and Brisbane's south.

    The raids foiled a plot involving a man believed to be Australia's most senior Islamic State member who called contacts in Australia and asked them to carry out a campaign of random public beheadings in Sydney and Brisbane, the ABC understands.

    Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Kings Cross bouncer and part-time actor, is understood to have made the instruction to kidnap people in Brisbane and Sydney and have them executed on camera. That video was then to be sent back to IS's media unit, where it would be publicly released.

    Omarjan Azari, 22, from the western Sydney suburb of Guildford, was one of 15 people detained during the operation in Sydney and is accused of conspiring with Mr Baryalei and others to act in preparation or plan a terrorist act or acts, court documents show.

    Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt told Sydney's Central Local Court the alleged offence was "clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify the community".

    Mr Allnutt said there was "a plan to commit extremely serious offences" that involved an "unusual level of fanaticism".

    He said the plot involved the "random selection of persons to rather gruesomely execute" and said there was an "irrational determination to commit that plan" because those allegedly involved continued to plot the attacks even though they knew they were under police surveillance.

    The court was told the charges against Azari stemmed from a single phone call intercepted earlier this week and police made their move this morning to disrupt a group of mostly Afghan Australians 48 hours after that phone call, concerned at how close it was to going ahead.

    "It's been an immediate reaction to a clear, imperative danger," Mr Allnutt said. "There is still an enormous amount of material for police to assess."

    There was heightened security at the court for Azari's appearance.

    The prosecution opposed bail, saying the unusual level of fanaticism meant Azari would be unlikely to adhere to any court orders.

    His barrister Steven Boland told the court police have very little evidence to support the charge, except for one phone call.

    Azari did not apply for bail and the case was adjourned until November 13.

    Brandis says authorities became aware of plot in May

    The charge relates to activity from May this year, well before the Federal Government publicly spoke about sending troops to fight IS in Iraq.

    "The law enforcement authorities became aware of information in May of this year that a group of people in Sydney were at least talking about plans to carry out random attacks on individuals in Australia and they were kept under surveillance," Federal Attorney-General George Brandis told Macquarie Radio.

    "I want to stress that the AFP acted at the earliest opportunity that they could when they had sufficient evidence to charge an individual."

    He said despite today's raids he wants people to continue with their normal way of life, but be more aware of the heightened threat.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he was briefed last night on the operation, adding that the intelligence received by police gave "not just suspicion" but "intent".

    "The exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country," he said, using another acronym for IS.

    "That's why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.

    "There are, I regret to say, networks of people here in this country who, despite living here, despite enjoying the Australian way of life, they would do us harm and it's very important that our police and security organisations be one step ahead of them and I think this morning they were."

    Investigations involving federal, state police, ASIO continuing

    Federal Police said they do not want to alarm people, but they are concerned about the momentum the Islamic State group seems to be gaining in Australia.

    AFP Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin said Azari was the ringleader of a bigger group that planned to commit violent acts in Sydney and Brisbane.

    He said the young age of the accused man and others under investigation is of particular concern and investigations were continuing.

    "I think it's fair to say we are concerned, now I don't want to unnecessarily alarm the public but we have seen the reach of ISIL, the reach of the conflicts in the Middle East into countries like Australia, in through our communities ... it's quite strong and it's concerning," he said.

    "We are seeing that younger and younger men are deciding to take up arms or wanting to participate or in some way contribute to the cause."

    NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the raids reflected "the reality of the threat we actually face".

    "You know it is of serious concern that right at the heart of our communities we have people that are planning to conduct random attacks," he said.

    "Today we work together to make sure that didn't happen. We have disrupted that particular attack.

    "Our police will continue to work tirelessly to prevent any such attacks but certainly can I stress that right now is a time for calm. We don't need to whip this up."

    A man who has previously been accused of recruiting people to fight in Syria is among those detained in the Sydney raids.

    The ABC has confirmed a house being searched at Revesby, in Sydney's south-west, is the part-time home of Hamdi Al Qudsi.

    The 39-year-old was charged last December with recruiting people to fight in the hostilities in Syria.

    Federal Police and detectives with shovels, suitcases and what is understood to be metal detectors spent several hours searching the public housing property.

    It is understood officers were also inspecting chemicals found at the house.

    Al Qudsi is yet to enter a plea to the recruitment charges and will face court again next month.

    Queensland operation linked to raid on Islamic bookstore

    Queensland Police said today's operation has links to last week's raids centring on an Islamic bookstore in Logan, to Brisbane's south.

    Two men were arrested in those raids and charged with recruiting and funding foreign fighters with Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation Jabhat al-Nusra. There were no arrests in today's raids.

    At the time, police said there was no evidence they were involved in any domestic terror plot. But today it emerged new information had come to light.

    "It may now be alleged that at least one individual was contemplating onshore terrorist action," Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said.

    Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the "information that has been gathered, particularly in the last week, has been very, very concerning".

    He said police are on high alert and officers have been ordered to wear their guns and carry Tasers as a precaution. Heightened security is also in place for government buildings and religious centres.

    "So that we are more prepared to deal with any eventuality," Mr Stewart said.

    "Now I want to stress there is no current information about an imminent attack on any particular Queenslander or group of Queenslanders. I want to stress that.

    "We are continuing to monitor the intelligence that's coming nationally about the activities of individuals."

    Meanwhile a Brisbane man accused of supplying funds to a terrorist organisation in Syria has been denied bail.

    Omar Succarieh, 31, is charged with collecting or making funds available to Jabhat al-Nusra between August 2013 and September 2014.

    He has also been charged with preparing for incursions into a foreign state between February and March this year.

    It was claimed police recordings show he favours Jabhat al-Nusra executions because they put a grave in front of their victim and the victim dies without struggle.

    Islamic groups fear arrests could prompt backlash

    Muslim groups are concerned that the arrests in Sydney and Brisbane will prompt retaliation against Muslim men and women.

    "We have some criminals in our society at all times, be they Muslim or not Muslim," said Silma Ihram from the Australian Muslim Women's Association.

    "But if you target a whole community as being part of the same grouping, simply because of the way they look or the hijab that they wear, this is going to isolate a whole community, this is going to cause long-term problems for everybody.

    "We are all, all those people who are Australian citizens, who are committed Australian citizens against the ... very, very few people that are under surveillance by the Government and who are threatening our security and our safety.

    "And I say our because they don't distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims, unfortunately, as we've seen overseas.

    "So to isolate and to react negatively against a whole community on the basis of a few isn't going to be helpful to anybody. I understand where it's coming from, but it's not going to provide a solution."

    The vice-president of Muslims Australia, Ikebal Patel, was shocked to hear of the raids and said he would not prejudge those arrested.

    "The premise of innocent until proven guilty stands, but having said that, for the police to take such a strong action, we of course are concerned that there could be some untoward thoughts and ideas amongst the community," he said.

    "We'd like to ask for calmness from within both the Muslim community as well as the greater community whilst the investigations are actually carried out fully."
    And the cries of police brutality emerge

    Allegations of brutal tactics by counter-terrorism authorities and anti-Islam attacks on social media have sparked a wave of apprehension among Australia's Muslim community in the wake of Thursday morning's raids on homes allegedly linked to a terrorism plot.

    There were fears tensions could spill over on Thursday night in Lakemba, where a "snap protest" was planned by some

    Muslim activists, prompting the Australian Defence League – an Australian "pride" group – to post "Let's make our presence known and get there in force against these bastard terrorists."

    Circulated on the social media platform Facebook, the protest calls on attendees to "denounce the demonisation and oppression of Muslims".

    Two allegations of mistreatment by police during the raids emerged on Thursday.

    Maywand Osman, who was detained during the raids but not arrested, said he raised his hands when confronted in the early hours of the morning and "four officers then jumped at me and one punched me in the face".

    "They threw me to the ground and started hitting me in the head and pulling my hair," he said in a Facebook post that included a photo of a man with bruising around his right eye.

    Deputy NSW Police Commissioner Cath Burn said police "used reasonable force" in the case of Mr Osman.

    "That's the nature [of things] when police go in and arrest people," she said,..

    Fairfax Media has also been told a woman was allegedly ordered to emerge from under her bedding by police and told she could not put on the Muslim headscarf.

    She was then allegedly manhandled and "beaten to the face", according to a posting by the al-Risalah Islamic Centre's Wissam Haddad.

    "Her 14-year-old child sees this and tries to come to his mums [sic] aid, he is pushed into the wall and almost passes out."

    The woman was deeply upset and frightened, said another source close to the family..

    A response from the AFP or NSW police to this latest allegation was not forthcoming.

    Keysar Trad, spokesman for the Islamic Friendship Association, said the allegations of brutality had spread like wildfire in the community.

    "We are very, very concerned about Australia's security," he said of the alleged plan to behead an innocent bystander.

    "It's hard to comment on the allegation because it's before the courts but, if it's true, it's a desecration of Islam."

    Mr Trad said he felt "personally battered", appalled by the alleged terrorist plot but despondent about the subsequent criticism of Islam.

    "Something like this comes up and the rednecks come out of the woodwork and say bad things about us, sending hate mail to Mosques, threatening our women and children."

  • #2
    What will be interesting will be to see how the departments change after this long term in their day to day operations.

    I think there has been a certain level of head in the sand about domestic terrorism in Australia. "That kind of thing happens somewhere else, not here..."


    • #3
      Originally posted by SACOP View Post
      I think there has been a certain level of head in the sand about domestic terrorism in Australia. "That kind of thing happens somewhere else, not here..."
      I bet people in England said the same prior to the London bombings and Lee Rigby.


      • #4
        Jeez! Good thing citizens can protect themselves against... Oh. Wait. Never mind.

        WELL DONE!
        Now go home and get your shine box!


        • #5
          Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
          Jeez! Good thing citizens can protect themselves against... Oh. Wait. Never mind.

          WELL DONE!
          If you think the "guns are banned in Australia" mantra is correct it's not.


          • #6
            Originally posted by CaptainKangaroo5691 View Post
            I bet people in England said the same prior to the London bombings and Lee Rigby.
            Definitely not, sadly. We had all grown up with the very real threats of the IRA.

            My old church actually managed to get its windows blown out from bombs, and we all suffered from both the real aftermath of bomb attacks and the many hoaxes that the IRA called in to close down London and the public transport systems. Even the suburbs got done - the area I used to patrol at the beginning of my service got two bombs as far as I can remember, and that was in the outskirts.

            I used to drive to Ireland semi regularly as my family were from there, and had to ask permission from the grown ups and sign in my warrant card each time. Glory days ;-)


            • #7
              Sorry, I should have been clearer. I was referring to Islamic terrorism incidents.


              • #8
                Really? So you can purchase and carry a handgun for self protection? Any type of rifle?
                Now go home and get your shine box!


                • #9
                  No, but I don't think this one incident means OC or CC should be legalized. I just can't see a good reason for it at the moment. There would have to be big changes here for it to be properly considered.


                  • #10
                    Sounds like you Assuies got some disgruntled folks.......

                    The Islamic Council of WA is planning to set up a hotline for its members in Western Australia, concerned Muslims will be targeted after vandals damaged a mosque in Sydney on Friday.

                    Last week more than 800 police raided homes in Sydney and Brisbane in the largest counter-terrorism operation ever in Australia.

                    One of the arrests involved 22-year-old Omarjan Azari, who is accused of plotting to kidnap a member of the public and have them beheaded.

                    After the raid, more than 200 members of the Muslim community in Sydney held a rally in the western suburbs, angry they were being unfairly targeted.

                    Islamic Council of WA spokesperson Abdullah Eshtewi said there was a lot of fear in Perth's Muslim community after the raids on the east coast.....


                    PRISON officers in riot gear have used tear gas to control maximum security inmates who tore apart Goulburn Jail in a racially fuelled riot *described as the biggest in 10 years.

                    With shouts of “Allah Akbar”, prisoners armed with homemade weapons threatened guards and smashed through an internal fence at the state’s toughest jail, which was in lockdown yesterday.

                    Police investigations are continuing today.

                    Tensions have been running high in the prison system as federal and NSW police step up their surveillance of suspected terrorists and any of their associates inside and outside prisons after the country’s terror alert was raised to high.......

                    Do you 'down unders' have a version of the self-help line 1-800-waa-aaaa?
                    Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                    “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                    Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                    “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                    George Washington, (1732-1799)
                    "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                    Originally posted by Country_Jim
                    ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.


                    • #11
                      Further raids may be on the horizon.

                      Australians should prepare for more counterterrorism raids as big as the recent 800-strong police raids in Sydney and Brisbane, the Australian Federal Police's counterterrorism chief has said.

                      Federal police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said police did not engage in "overkill" in September's Operation Appleby raids that involved 800 police officers, but led to only two people being charged.

                      "What we will see now is more raids like we saw in Sydney because the environment has changed," Mr Gaughan said.

                      "The paradigm has changed such that we will be forced to react much quicker than what we previously have, and I think the community will see more of this where we will do a large number of execution of search warrants and probably only one or two arrests."

                      Mr Gaughan said police made no apologies for the raids, including the seizure of a reportedly plastic sword. The sword wasn't plastic and was a "legitimate weapon", Mr Gaughan said.

                      The comments came during a terrorism-focused Q&A in which Attorney-General George Brandis said he did not regret stating that "people have a right to be bigots" at the height of debate about watering down the Racial Discrimination Act.

                      "If you believe in freedom of speech, you've got to defend the freedom of speech of everyone," he said.

                      During the episode, filmed in Bankstown in western Sydney, Senator Brandis faced tough and at times hostile questioning from the leaders of Sydney's Muslim community.

                      Several members of the audience said they believed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's use of the phrase "Team Australia" had created a divide between Muslims and non-Muslims, and that the Islamic community was being unfairly demonised.

                      Senator Brandis said that Muslims should not be stereotyped but that it must be acknowledged that some "wicked" extremist preachers were trying to ensnare young Muslim men to fight for Islamic State and other terrorist groups in the Middle East.

                      Senator Brandis also attempted to ease concerns about the impact of recent anti-terrorism laws that could lead to journalists being jailed for up to 10 years for reporting on ASIO special intelligence operations.

                      Senator Brandis suggested that journalists who publish Edward-Snowden-style leaks would not be liable for prosecution - the first time he has made a distinction between the way the laws would apply to journalists and whistleblowers.

                      "This is not a law about journalists, this is no more about journalists than drink-driving is about journalists," Senator Brandis said.

                      "If it is a journalist covering what a whistleblower disclosed, then the relevant conduct is the conduct constituting the disclosure, so if the event is already disclosed by someone else and a journalist merely reports that which has already been disclosed, as it was by Snowden, then the provision would not be attracted."

                      Senator Brandis said that new "metadata" laws requiring telecommunications companies to store customer records would only be used for the "highest levels" of crime such as terrorism, transnational crime and paedophilia - not the illicit downloading of movies and music.

                      Senator Brandis' performance as the sole Q&A panellist drew a rave review from a usual critic of the government: Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie.

                      "Congratulations Attorney General you stood your ground. Strength, courage, leadership I applaud you!!!!" Senator Lambie tweeted.


                      • #12
                        What rights did we lose?


                        • #13
                          We never had gun rights and I don't believe our self-defence laws have changed much since before '96.
                          Last edited by CaptainKangaroo5691; 11-08-2014, 06:09 AM. Reason: Spelling


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gizmo1
                            rights to own guns and defend ourselfs
                            The current Victorian law on self defence has existed in the current form since 1958.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gizmo1
                              ok well you still cant use a gun if to defend your life
                              Yes you can. You can use any force to protect yourself provided that it is not disproportionate to the objective and you believe on reasonable grounds it is necessary to do so.

                              You aren't allowed to carry a gun in a public place without a special authority to do so and this was the case before 1996 when the gun laws were changed.


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