Three Arrested In Sydney ISIS Terror Raids

One of the three men had made "early-stage preparations" to carry out an attack on Sydney landmarks, police allege. 

A counter-terror operation has foiled an alleged plot involving ISIS supporters, with three men arrested in Sydney following raids across the city on Tuesday.

A total of six raids were carried out across the western Sydney suburbs of Greenacre, Toongabbie, Chester Hill, Ingleburn, Green Valley and Canada Bay by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Taskforce (JCTT).

The AFP said there was no immediate threat to the public.

Six arrest warrants were carried out in suburbs including Toongabbie, in Sydney's west.

A 20-year-old man taken into custody will be charged with three offences, including being a member of ISIS, acts in preparation of a terrorist attack in Australia, and preparation to enter a foreign country with the intent of engaging with hostile activities.

Police will allege the man made early stage preparations and expressed an intention to carry out an attack on targets including police stations, defence establishments, embassies and consulates, courts and churches.

"We'll also allege that this man indicated he was willing to travel to Afghanistan to fight for Islamic state and he made a number of preparations to do so," AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said on Tuesday.

"He had undertaken a number of active steps -- obtaining visas, purchasing airline tickets, he had planned to purchase a firearm once he arrived in Afghanistan and obviously through these activities he'd sworn allegiance to IS," he said.

Image: AFP

The man has been under surveillance for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon last year. He was known to Lebanese authorities, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said.

A 23-year-old Toongabbie man will also be charged with being a member of ISIS, while a 30-year-old from Chester Hill will be charged with fraudulently claiming commonwealth unemployment benefits.

"These men knew each other via social media and being online, sharing a like-minded philosophy," Willing said.

"That philosophy drove them to come together and to form a relationship that we are alleging underpins some of the charges that they are facing today."

Image: AFP

According to authorities, alleged preparations for an attack were in their "early stages", and included "discussions around importing firearms and explosives to carry out those attacks".

This is the "16th disruption" since terror threat levels were raised in 2014, assistant commissioner McCartney said.

"There are still those people in the community who wish to do us harm," he added.

"I want to say they don't represent the Islamic faith. Their actions are criminal, and they represent hatred and terror."