Perth man charged for advocating terrorism

This is a joint media release from the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia Police Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

** Editor's note: images and footage available via hightail.

A 52-year-old Perth man is scheduled to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court today (23 December) charged with terrorism-related offences following an investigation by the Western Australia Joint Counter Terrorism Team (WA JCTT).

The investigation began in February 2020 after the WA JCTT – comprising Australian Federal Police (AFP), Western Australia Police Force and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation – became aware of an online video-sharing platform account hosting content that called for acts of politically-motivated violence offshore.

In April 2020, a search warrant was executed on the home and vehicle of the man believed to own the online account, resulting in a number of electronic devices being seized for evidentiary purposes.

A second search warrant was executed at the man’s residence yesterday (22 December 2020) and the 52-year-old man was arrested and charged with four counts of advocating terrorism, contrary to section 80.2C of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

AFP Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Scott Lee said extremist ideology that incited violence – onshore or offshore – was a criminal offence.

“The AFP and our partner agencies, through the Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) will arrest and charge Australian-based individuals allegedly involved in engaging in violent, extremist ideologies,’’ Assistant Commissioner Lee said.

“In this instance, it is alleged the individual was intending to incite politically motivated acts in a foreign country.

“I commend our investigators for the hundreds of hours spent diligently gathering and examining evidence to put this matter before the courts.”

Commander Pryce Scanlan from WA Police Force’s Counter Terrorism & Emergency Response Command said the arrest reinforces the need for all community members across Australia to remain vigilant.

“Online content advocating for terrorist acts to be carried out has the potential to reach people anywhere in the world, including our local communities, and it is critical we identify and prosecute those responsible for such incitement. It is also just as important that our investigations and operations prevent those people in our community who are vulnerable to radicalisation from being exposed to such material.

“We have seen the devastating impacts that such online radicalisation and incitement can result in, and everyone in the community can play a critical role in keeping our community safe by reporting concerns about online material, or individuals, to authorities.

“Yesterday’s arrest shows the community that law enforcement and intelligence partners across Australia are working together to protect the community.”

Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

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