A man from the southern NSW city of Albury is being charged with terrorism-related offences following a NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) investigation.
The 18-year-old man was arrested earlier this week and charged with a range of criminal counter-terrorism-related offences in the Albury Local Court. An application will be made to have the matter heard in a Sydney court at a later date.
He was taken into custody by members of the Australian Federal Police and the NSW Police Force.
Has an extremely right-wing ideology
“The male we’ve arrested has an extremely right-wing ideology and is focused on neo-Nazi, white supremacist and anti-Semitic material,” said AFP Assistant Commissioner, Scott Lee.
According to Lee, the man had been going online to access and engage with extreme right-wing material, including bomb-makin. The Assistant Commissioner alleged he had shared these in an effort to urge others to commit terrorist acts and violence against certain community members.
He was being monitored by law enforcement agencies, but the decision was made to arrest him when he appeared to be escalating his activities.
Were no plans to launch specific attack
Police believe the accused had no plans to launch a specific attack and his known activities at the time of his arrest were confined to the online environment.
“The investigation into this matter remains ongoing, but we remain wary about the speed with which lone actors can progress from online activities to ones that impact the real world,” Lee said.
“It highlights the commitment and professionalism of the people and agencies involved in the JCTT, and their desire to protect the community by bringing people to account for their criminal actions.”
NSW police Assistant Commissioner, Mark Walton, alleged the teenager had expressed views against “almost anyone that didn’t look like him”.
Review into country’s extremist movements
“More specifically it’s non-whites, it’s immigrants, it’s people of the Jewish and Islamic faith,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has commenced a review into the extremist movements and radicalism in Australia. The inquiry was referred to the Committee by the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.
“The Committee will be examining the nature and extent of, and threat posed by, extremist movements and persons holding extremist views in Australia,” the committee’s Chairman, Andrew Hastie, said.