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23 February 2022, 10:26am
Media Release

NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team charge man over alleged act of terrorism

A man has been charged with engaging in an act of terrorism following a siege at Windang last year, as part of a NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) investigation.

On Sunday 28 November 2021, officers attached to Lake Illawarra Police District arrested a 40-year-old man following a siege at Windang.

The man – armed with two firearms – allegedly fired a number of shots at passing vehicles and pedestrians, before barricading himself inside a nearby dive shop.

Following negotiations, he surrendered to police and was charged with six offences.

As part of ongoing investigations, a crime scene warrant was executed at a home at Windang, where several items, including firearms, knives and electronic devices, were seized for further examination.

The NSW JCTT subsequently commenced an investigation under Operation Bletsoe, into the activities of the man who was found to possess several documents containing extremist ideologies and a willingness to commit violent acts.

Following extensive inquiries, the man appeared at Wollongong Local Court via AVL today (Wednesday 23 February 2022), where NSW JCTT investigators charged him with:

  • Engaging in a terrorist act, contrary to section 101.1 of the Criminal Code (Cth) 1995. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The man was also served with a Firearms Prohibition Order (FPO) and Weapons Prohibition Order (WPO).

NSW Police Force Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said investigators have conducted an extensive review of all available evidence obtained at the Windang property.

“Following a thorough forensic examination of the items seized, police identified that the ideologies of this individual are extreme and have the potential to cause further harm to the community,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.

“What occurred at Windang last year was frightening for the public and of great concern to police. It is a testament to the hard work of investigators that we can now lay additional charges in this matter.

“The NSW JCTT will continue to work together to ensure the community is protected from those who seek to do us harm, and those who think they can put others at risk to spread their extremist ideologies.

“If we see activity that concerns us – as we have during the course of this investigation – we will act swiftly to ensure that activity does not escalate,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.

Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations, Scott Lee, praised the thorough work of investigators in gathering and analysing the available evidence in this matter to lay criminal charges.

“This man’s violent extremist activities were a danger to the community and shows the ongoing risk of attacks by lone actors; people who choose to access, believe and adhere to views that are best described as socially and racially extreme,” Assistant Commissioner Lee said.

“The AFP takes all matters involving extremist behaviour seriously. The terrorist threat level remains at probable and confirms the need for continued vigilance.

“We target criminality regardless of the background of the perpetrator. We target criminal activity, not ideologies or backgrounds,” Assistant Commissioner Lee said.

Investigations by the NSW JCTT remain ongoing.

The NSW JCTT is comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission.

Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.

There is no ongoing threat to the community relating to this investigation.

Media enquiries

NSW Police Media: (02) 8263 6100
AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297