JCTT charges man with foreign incursion offences

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This is a joint media release issued by the Australian Federal Police and the NSW Police Force

Members of the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team have charged a 27-year-old Bass Hill man today as part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of people attempting to travel to, or returning from, conflict zones in Syria and Iraq.

The 27-year-old was arrested this morning and later charged with one count of Preparations for incursions into foreign countries for purpose of engaging in hostile activities, contrary to section 119.4(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment. He is scheduled to appear before Bankstown Local Court today.

It will be alleged in court that this man made preparations and attempted to travel from Turkey to the conflict region between April and June 2016 to join the group known as Islamic State, but was not successful in doing so.

The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team – comprising the NSW Police Force, the Australian Federal Police, and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation – would like to reassure the community there is no current or impending threat to the community as part of today’s activities.

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Jennifer Hurst said investigations into returning foreign fighters continue to be an important part of the work of the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team.

“Police have constantly warned people against travelling to conflict zones, and we again want to emphasise that actively making plans to join groups in those areas is a criminal offence,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Hurst said.

“The challenge in these matters is to obtain evidence to an appropriate standard for prosecution, but we will work cooperatively and diligently to act in response to those who choose to follow an extremist ideology that is not compatible with the diverse, inclusive values of the Australian community.”

NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, Commander Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, said in light of recent events, both at home and overseas, it is now more important than ever for the community and police to continue to work together.

"You are our eyes and ears. Help us to keep everyone safe," Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said.

Anyone with information should always come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think that may be. The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.

Further updates will be provided at an appropriate time.

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

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