UPDATE: Federal police have raided properties in south west Sydney this morning, arresting two people as part of the ongoing Operation Appleby investigation into the alleged planning of a terrorist attack in Australia.
Police have confirmed that a 20-year-old Raby man and a 15-year-old child from Georges Hall were arrested at their homes in the early hours of Thursday, and later charged with one count each of conspiracy to conduct an act in preparation for a terrorist act.
The charges relate to material that was seized during search warrants conducted in December 2014. It’s alleged the men were involved in formulating documents connected with preparations to facilitate, assist or engage a person to undertake a terrorist act.
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NSW police allege the terrorism preparations may have involved an attack on a government building in Sydney.
It has also been revealed that those arrested today are associates with those arrested over the murder of NSW police employee Curtis Cheng.
Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan said law enforcement and security agencies will continue to work together on complex and long-term investigations, including after overt activity is taken to disrupt potential terrorist acts.
“The charges laid today are the direct result of ongoing investigations from material seized in previous Operation Appleby activity in Sydney during September and December 2014,” said Deputy Commissioner Phelan.
“The JCTT conducted disruption activity to ensure the safety of the community last year, and has continued to examine the evidence gathered and investigate potential criminal offences. We will allege that the charges today relate to evidence of a criminal act.”
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Special Operations Catherine Burn reiterated that information from the community is vital to police efforts to disrupt the plans of those who pursue an extreme path.
“It is disturbing that we continue to deal with teenaged children in this environment. To be putting a 15-year-old before the courts on very serious charges that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment demonstrates the difficulties law enforcement face,” said Deputy Commissioner Burn.
The 20-year-old Raby man is scheduled to appear before Campbelltown Local Court this afternoon.
The 15-year-old juvenile is scheduled to appear before Parramatta Children’s Court today.
Today’s activities bring the total number of people charged by the JCTT Sydney in relation to Operation Appleby to 11 since September 2014.
Police continue to encourage the public to report any suspicious activity they see or hear to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
EARLIER: Federal police have raided properties in south west Sydney, arresting two people in relation to ongoing terrorism investigations.
The arrests follow reports two homes were raided in Bankstown in the early hours of Thursday morning.
It’s believed a 15-year-old boy is one of two arrested, however it has not yet been confirmed.
The Australian Federal Police and New South Wales Police Force will provide an update on current investigative activities at 10.30am AEDT.