A SYDNEY man is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars after he was allegedly caught preparing to travel to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State.
The 27-year-old man from Bass Hill allegedly attempted to travel from Turkey to the conflict zone between April and June this year to join ISIS, but was unsuccessful.
He was arrested by counter-terror police this morning and has since been charged with one count of Preparations for incursions into foreign countries for purpose of engaging in hostile activities.
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The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment. The man is scheduled to appear before Bankstown Local Court this afternoon.
The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team said there was no current or impending threat to the community as part of today’s activities.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Jennifer Hurst said investigations into returning foreign fighters continue to be an important part of the work of the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team.
“Police have constantly warned people against travelling to conflict zones, and we again want to emphasise that actively making plans to join groups in those areas is a criminal offence,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Hurst said.
“The challenge in these matters is to obtain evidence to an appropriate standard for prosecution, but we will work cooperatively and diligently to act in response to those who choose to follow an extremist ideology that is not compatible with the diverse, inclusive values of the Australian community.”
NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, Commander Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, said 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.
“You are our eyes and ears. Help us to keep everyone safe,” Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.
Anyone with information should always come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think that may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.