Australia police arrest two in anti-terror raids

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Saturday, 10 January 2015

Australian counter-terrorism police have detained two people following long-running investigations into those supporting Takfiri terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq.

Officials said the arrests were made on Friday in the city of Sydney as a “part of a long-running investigation and not as a result of any specific terrorism threat.”

Security forces arrested a 33-year-old man on Friday during raids at four properties in Sydney’s southwest. A 21-year-old man was also taken into custody in a separate operation.

Both men have been accused of possessing unauthorized and unregistered firearms and ammunition.

Police, however, said that the operations were not related to a hostage-taking case at a Sydney cafe last December that left the lone gunman, extremist figure Man Haron Monis, and two people dead.

Lawyer Adam Houda, who is representing both suspects, stressed that his clients were not facing terror charges.

“There is no suggestion at all there is any links with any terrorism,” he said outside court, adding, “One of the hallmarks of our justice system is the presumption of innocence. So presume them innocent.”

Both men will appear at a court in Sydney next week.

Canberra says more than 70 Australians have joined terrorist groups such as the ISIL fighting against the governments in Iraq and Syria. At least 20 Aussies are believed to have been killed in violence in both states.

The Australian government has recently passed a law criminalizing travel to terror hotspots like Syria and Iraq. Those charged could face up to 10 years in jail.

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