Victorian man arrested in JCTT operation

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police.

An investigation conducted by the Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) has resulted in a 31-year-old man being charged for alleged terrorism offences.

The JCTT – comprising officers from the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police – arrested the man at a Braybrook residence on Saturday before charging him with two terrorism offences.

It will be alleged in court that the man was collecting or making documents that were likely to be used to facilitate terrorist acts, and conducting activities that constituted planning for a terrorist act.

The JCTT would like to emphasise that there was no immediate or impending threat to the community at this stage of the investigation, which began in January 2016. The JCTT is satisfied that any threat to the community posed by this individual has been appropriately mitigated.

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Jennifer Hurst emphasised that this operation is another example of police targeting criminal activity, not the ideologies or backgrounds of individuals concerned.

“Terrorism has no place in an inclusive Australian society, and we will continue to take action against those who support it in any way, at the earliest point,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hurst.

“The primary aim of the JCTT in this operation was to ensure the safety of the community by taking action against an individual allegedly advocating and planning violent acts in support of extremist political motivations.”

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Command Ross Guenther said violent extremism in any form has no place in todays’ society. They are criminal acts that will not be tolerated.

“Combating extremist views and speech is a challenge for our whole community. We need to work together to ensure that these detractors calls to violence against one another are negated,” said Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther.

“Victoria is a modern community and its safety will always be the highest priority for Victoria Police.”

The Braybrook man was charged with one count of collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts, contrary to section 101.5(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth); and one count of acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts, contrary to section 101.6(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

These offences carry maximum penalties of 15 years and life imprisonment, respectively.

Police also conducted search warrants in Melbourne and regional Victoria in relation to ongoing aspects of this investigation.

Police continue to encourage the public to report any suspicious activity they see or hear to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
 

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