Media Release: Five arrested in joint counter terrorism operation

Release Date: Wednesday, October 07 2015, 12:44 PM

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the NSW Police Force.

Four people have been arrested in Sydney this morning as a result of a Joint Counter Terrorism Team operation involving the NSW Police and Australian Federal Police (AFP) in relation to the fatal shooting of Curtis Cheng at Parramatta last Friday.

At 6am today more than 200 officers executed warrants at premises located at Guildford, Wentworthville, Merrylands, and Marsfield.

Today’s operation involved officers drawn from the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, the Australian Federal Police and the Tactical Operations Unit.

Those arrested include a 16-year-old male and an 18-year-old man from Wentworthville; a 22-year-old man from Merrylands, and, a 22-year-old man from Marsfield. 

A fifth man, a 24-year-old man from Merrylands was not detained as part of the operation but was arrested as a result of an outstanding warrant for identity and fraud matters.

The four men have been taken into custody and will be taken to various police stations where they will be interviewed in relation to Friday’s fatal shooting.

This operation is separate from the activities overnight in relation to the 17-year-old student arrested yesterday.

NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn, Commander Specialist Operations, said today’s operation is a clear indication of the resolve to identify those who allegedly had involvement in the fatal shooting on Friday.

“While we must be careful in any allegations we make it, is of serious concern that in the heart of our community there have been plans to conduct an attack on such an innocent person.”

“Our Joint Counter Terrorism Team will meticulously work through all information obtained this morning and proceed according to any evidence obtained, Deputy Commissioner Burn said.

Deputy Commissioner Burn also called for calm and vigilance.

“While the events of last Friday are disturbing, we have to be better than those who want to disrupt our lives.”

“It’s important that we get on with our lives.  But we have to be vigilant, be aware and be ready to make a call if you see or hear anything suspicious,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.

AFP acting Deputy Commissioner National Security Neil Gaughan said it was important to remember that this is a shocking crime targeting the New South Wales Police service, and the fact it was perpetrated by a 15 year old boy just underlines the importance of families and communities working closely together with law enforcement.  This operation is also yet another tangible example of the effectiveness of the cooperation between Australia’s law enforcement agencies.
Members of the community are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
NSW Police Media (02) 8263 6100