UPDATE: Teen charged by NSW Joint Counter Terror Team

UPDATE @ December 10 |  An Albury man has now been charged with terrorism-related offences following a lengthy investigation.

The 18-year-old was arrested at a home yesterday, after an investigation – which began in August – linked him with online social media posts allegedly containing extreme right wing ideology that indicated potential criminal activity.

Police allege the man regularly used social media forums and communications apps throughout the year, to try and encourage other people to commit violent acts.


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He’s now been charged with one count of urging violence against members or groups (max seven years imprisonment), and advocating terrorism (max five years).

He’s expected to face Albury court later today, where an application will be made for the matter to be heard in Sydney at a later date.

Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Scott Lee says investigators acted early, because they were concerned about the man’s actions to date.

“The sole aim of today’s activity was to ensure the safety of the community by preventing further planning, preparations or advocacy by this man that could have resulted in an attack in Australia.

“The investigation into this matter remains ongoing, but we remain wary about the speed with which lone actors can progress from online activities to ones that impact the real world. It highlights the commitment and professionalism of the people and agencies involved in the JCTT, and their desire to protect the community by bringing people to account for their criminal actions,” he said.

EARLIER @ December 9 | An 18-year-old man has been arrested by detectives from the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team following an ongoing investigation.

Officers raided the teen’s Albury home on Wednesday morning, shocking residents on the normally-quiet suburban street as officers swarmed the area.

The teen was escorted from the home in handcuffs to a waiting vehicle, where he was then transported to Albury police station.

Australian Federal Police and NSW Police said in a statement that he is expected to be charged with a range of criminal counter-terrorism-related offences later today.

It’s understood the teen allegedly made a number of online posts containing an extreme right wing ideology that indicated potential criminal activity.

“It will be alleged in court that the man has regularly used social media forums and communication applications during 2020 to encourage other people to commit violent acts in furtherance of an extreme right wing ideology,” Australian Federal Police said.

The man also allegedly tried to access bomb making material.

Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Scott Lee said investigators became concerned in recent weeks about the escalating content of some of the man’s communications, which allegedly indicated his “willingness to commit a violent and criminal act”.

He said officers made the decision to act early to ensure community safety.

“The sole aim of today’s activity was to ensure the safety of the community by preventing further planning, preparations or advocacy by this man that could have resulted in an attack in Australia,” he said.

“The investigation into this matter remains ongoing, but we remain wary about the speed with which lone actors can progress from online activities to ones that impact the real world.

“It highlights the commitment and professionalism of the people and agencies involved in the JCTT, and their desire to protect the community by bringing people to account for their criminal actions.”

The teen is expected to face Albury Local Court once charged, and an application will be made to have the matter heard in a Sydney court at a later date.

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This is a developing story. More to come.

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