Counter-terrorism police allege one of two people arrested in Sydney raids this morning had links to a member of foreign fighter network.
State and federal police from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team have arrested Mehmet Biber, 24, and a 17-year old boy on suspicion of breaching foreign fighter laws. Biber was arrested at Birrong this morning over allegations he travelled to Syria to fight alongside Jabhat al-Nusra in July 2013.
Counter terrorism police will allege he travelled to the conflict zone with the help of Islamic State supporter Hamdi Al Qudsi. Al Qudsi was sentenced to a minimum of six years in prison for his role helping seven young Australian men travel to fight with extremist jihadi groups in Syria, including the forerunners of Islamic State.
The national manager of counter-terrorism for the Australian Federal Police, Neil Gaughan, said the 17-year old boy arrested this morning attempted to travel to the region to fight for IS in January 2015:
“Obviously we’ve moved as quickly as we can in relation to this matter due to the risk that these people pose, but also in relation to the ideology that they possess, and that will be something we will be alleging in court later today. This has been a protracted investigation and a very difficult one. Evidence collection from Syria is extremely difficult.”
Police from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team confirmed they executed a number of raids this morning as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged foreign incursion offences.