WA Joint Counter Terrorism Team arrests WA man
This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia Police Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
A West Australian man, 39, who allegedly posted violent threats online is expected to face Rockingham Magistrate’s Court today (12 September 2022) charged over the alleged commentary.
The Western Australian Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) started investigating in June (2022) after receiving a report to the National Security Hotline about someone posting ideologically-motivated violent extremist (IMVE) views on social media.
WA JCTT investigators allegedly linked the WA man to the account and became concerned about the escalating content of some communications, which allegedly included comments to ‘shoot up a school’. The posts allegedly included racist remarks and referenced support for another convicted terrorist offender.
WA JCTT members executed a warrant at the man’s home in Perth’s southern suburbs on 26 August 2022. They seized digital devices, which allegedly included stored documents describing the manufacture of explosives and evidence of use of the social media application involved, as well as two gel blasters and an amount of cannabis.
AFP WA JCTT Acting Superintendent Tara Wood said WA JCTT investigators were concerned about the man’s alleged online actions to date, and made a decision to act early to ensure community safety.
“The sole aim of this JCTT activity was to protect the community by preventing further planning, preparations or advocacy by this person that could have resulted in an attack in Australia,” Acting Superintendent Wood said.
“At this stage there is no evidence to suggest the man had the capability or intent to commit a terrorist offence but we are on alert about the speed with which people can incite others or progress from online activities to ones that impact the real world.
“We want to remind the community – you are our eyes and ears. If you see something concerning online, please report it. Your information is often invaluable in assisting investigations such as this one.”
The man has been charged with:
- One count of make statement or act creating false apprehension as to existence of threat or danger, contrary to section 338C(1)(a) of the Criminal Code Compilation Act 1913 (WA). The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years’ imprisonment;
- Possess prohibited weapon, contrary to section 6 of the Weapons Act 1999 (WA). The maximum penalty for this offence is three years’ imprisonment;
- Possess cannabis, contrary to section 6 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 (WA). The maximum penalty for this offence is two years’ imprisonment;
- Cultivate cannabis, contrary to section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 (WA). The maximum penalty for this offence is two years’ imprisonment;
- Possess drug paraphernalia, contrary to section 7B of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 (WA). The maximum penalty for this is three years’ imprisonment.
The WA JCTT is comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, WA Police Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation who ensure risks of violent extremism is monitored, investigated and disrupted. The WA JCTT works tirelessly to ensure the ongoing safety of the community.
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.
AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
WA Police Force Media: (08) 9222 1011
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