Australia: 3 Muslim terrorists planning ISIS massacres on embassies, churches arrested in Sydney
Police have arrested three Muslim terrorists who were planning to massacre people in the name of ISIS, following a number of anti-terror raids across Sydney on Tuesday.
A total of six raids were carried out across the western Sydney suburbs of Greenacre, Toongabbie, Chester Hill, Ingleburn, Green Valley and Canada Bay by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Taskforce (JCTT).
Muslim terrorist Isaak el-Matari, 20, and two other jihadists aged 23 and 30 were arrested and are expected to be charged later today.
El Matari will be charged with three offenses, including being a member of ISIS, acts in preparation of a terrorist attack in Australia, and preparation to enter a foreign country with the intent of engaging with hostile activities.
The 20-year-old Muslim terrorist made early-stage preparations and expressed an intention to carry out a terror attack on targets including police stations, defense establishments, embassies and consulates, courts and churches.
“He was willing to travel to Afghanistan to fight for ISIS and made a number of preparations to do so”, AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said.
“He had undertaken a number of active steps — obtaining visas, purchasing airline tickets, he had planned to purchase a firearm once he arrived in Afghanistan and obviously through these activities he’d sworn allegiance to ISIS,” he added.
The terrorist has been under surveillance for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon last year. He was known to Lebanese authorities.
A 23-year-old Toongabbie Muslim terrorist will also be charged with being a member of ISIS, while a 30-year-old terrorist from Chester Hill will be charged with fraudulently claiming commonwealth unemployment benefits.
The jihadists, who knew each other via social media, planned to import firearms and explosives to carry out the massacres.
“Today this highlights two issues: There are still those within the community who wish us harm and the community of Australia harm,” Assistant Commissioner McCartney said.