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30 December 2022, 8:52am
Media Release

CT disruptions in focus during 2022

The AFP has continued to work alongside its state and Commonwealth law enforcement partners through the Joint Counter Terrorism Teams (JCTT) across Australia to identify, target and disrupt potential threats to the Australian community.

There were no domestic terrorist attacks in 2022 as a result of the work of JCTTs identifying and disrupting individuals and groups intent on harming the community.  Significant disruptive action was undertaken through the arrest, charge and prosecution of Commonwealth and state-based terrorism, drug, firearms and extremism offences.

The JCTTs were busy managing and mitigating threats including combatting an increase in radicalisation of youth online, as well as progressing foreign fighter investigations and domestic prosecutions.

After eight long years and with 16 offenders convicted, Operation Appleby finally came to a conclusion in September 2022 with the conviction of a 52-year-old man for directing a terrorist organisation.

International Counter Terrorism teams saw significant effort culminate in excellent operational outcomes. The safe return and risk mitigation of Australian women and children from Syrian IDP camps, involvement in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Bali bombings, and the arrest and charging of an alleged ISIS terrorist following his deportation from Türkiye, are just a few of the high-profile achievements.

The AFP were successful in managing 16 offenders for post-sentence orders, a significant increase in breach-related prosecutions and enforcing the first Interim Supervision Orders (ISO) in Victoria and NSW since the introduction of the scheme.

The AFP was also instrumental in supporting two endorsed applications for continuing detention orders, one extended supervision order, and successfully applied for three control orders. This recognised the benefits of both law enforcement and therapeutic compliance options in managing risk. 

Over the past eight years, the AFP has been a key partner in the Joint Investigation Team investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine, maintaining a commitment to seeking truth, justice and accountability for the victims and next of kin (NOK).

On 17 November 2022, a Dutch Court found three men guilty of the murder of 298 passengers and crew for their role in unlawfully bringing down a civilian aircraft. AFP Family Investigative Liaison Officers provided valuable support and an ongoing AFP presence for the families involved for the entire duration of the investigation and prosecution. 

The AFP continued its commitment to mitigate threats that could cause harm to Australia’s sovereignty, security and the integrity of our national institutions through the Counter Foreign Interference Taskforce (CFITF).

Operation Fruithof saw the first person committed to trial for a foreign interference offence since Australia’s foreign interference legislation came into effect. In addition, the AFP - as a member of the Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce - successfully supported safeguarding the integrity of 2022 Federal Election.

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations Mark McIntyre said the AFP and its partners continued to adapt to the evolving global environment to keep Australians safe from terrorism and foreign interference.

“The AFP remains committed to protecting the Australian community and working alongside our state and Commonwealth partners in 2023,” Acting Assistant Commissioner McIntyre said.

“The AFP, working as part of the JCTT and CFITF across Australia, will continue to identify and disrupt potential threats to our society, institutions and democratic way of life. It has been incredibly rewarding playing our role in keeping Australia safe and we look forward to the next year ahead.”

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