Man Charged With Preparing Terrorist Device After Investigation Into Right-Wing Groups
A 21-year-old man from the NSW south coast has been charged with preparing a terrorist device and is expected to appear in court today.
Authorities said the Sanctuary Point man was arrested on Saturday and charged with one count of acts done in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
He will initially appear in Nowra Local Court today before the matter is heard in a Sydney court at a later date.
Police allege the man was attempting and planning to purchase, or gain possession of, military equipment, including firearms, and items capable of making improvised explosive devices.
It is understood joint counter-terrorism teams started investigations in February after authorities were alerted to a number of online posts containing an extreme right-wing and anti-government ideology.
"Investigators became concerned about the escalating criminal actions allegedly undertaken by the 21-year-old man in the past week," Australian Federal Police said in a statement.
Police then executed a search warrant on properties and vehicles in Sanctuary Point and Parma on the NSW South Coast.
A number of electronic devices, tactical equipment and three soft gel (paintball) firearms were seized.
Four registered firearms were seized at the Parma residence -- allegedly the home of an associate of the Sanctuary Point man.
NSW Police Force Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said the primary concern for officers is community safety.
“Our officers have acted swiftly in this case as the behaviour online was of significant concern," he said.
"I want to reassure the community there is no ongoing threat."
He is urging Australians if they see something that's not right, to report it, and to be aware of the online activities of their children.
"There is no place for violent extremism in our community and we need to continue to unite in condemning this behaviour," he added.
More to come.