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Two charged after Sydney terror raid

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A teenager and a 20-year-old man have been charged following counter terrorism raids in Sydney.

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A 15-year-old boy from Georges Hall and the man from Raby were charged with conspiracy to conduct an act in preparation for a terrorist act after raids on their homes on Thursday morning.

“The charges laid today are the direct result of ongoing investigations from materials seized in previous Operation Appleby activity in Sydney during September and December 2014,” Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said in a statement.

Both males are expected to face court on Thursday.

An additional three persons are expected to be charged later on Thursday with the same conspiracy, Phelan told reporters in Sydney.

The arrests follow investigations carried out since December last year when details of an alleged terror plot was uncovered in Sydney.

The current charges relate to material seized during searches conducted by Operation Appleby investigators at the time.
Police allege the conspirators were involved in “formulating documents connected with preparations to facilitate, assist or engage a person to undertake a terrorist act”.

The plot “clearly talked about a plan and there were government buildings named in those plans, specifically the AFP building,” Phelan said.

The teenage boy was 14 years old when the alleged terror plot was being formulated in 2014.

“It’s disturbing that we’re continuing to see teenage children in this environment,” NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Specialist Operations Catherine Burn said.

“There’s absolutely no doubt about the fact that we’re charging a 15-year-old with a very, very serious offence – this is an offence that has a maximum of life imprisonment.”

Phelan said the parents of the 15-year-old boy were “very cooperative” as their son was arrested on Thursday morning.

But Burn said it was a concern that the teen had become so radicalised and that police had been working with the boy’s school.

“We don’t know how the 15-year-old has got to the point where we will allege he got,” she said.

“The principal and the executive of the Department of Education are aware of today’s activities.”

Thursday’s arrests come a little more than two months after a teenage gunman, 15-year-old Farhad Jabar, shot down police accountant Curtis Cheng outside police headquarters in Parramatta.

“I am not aware of a direct connection between the two 15-year-olds. However, the people who were involved with the murder of Curtis Cheng are associates of these people,” Burn said.

She said Thursday’s arrests were not linked to last week’s raids when officers swooped on two homes in Merrylands, including the Lockwood Street home of a man accused of supplying the gun that killed Cheng on October 2.

Those raids followed reported Facebook threats made against the Merrylands police station.

Talal Alameddine, 22, remains in police custody charged with supplying the gun to Jabar.

– AAP

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