Teen ‘urged terror attacks’: cops

 

A teenager from regional NSW who allegedly holds "extreme right wing" views was urging others to commit terrorist acts and tried to provide others with instructions to make a bomb, police say.

Senior officers allege the 18-year-old's "escalating" online threats continued up until counter-terrorism police made the call to raid his Albury home on Wednesday morning.

Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner for Counter Terrorism, Scott Lee, said the man had created closed social media groups to engage with like-minded others and shown support for mass-killing events such as the Christchurch massacre.

"The male that we have arrested has an extreme right-wing ideology and is focused on neo-Nazi, white supremacist and anti-Semitic material," he alleged.

The 18-year-old Albury man being led away by officers on Wednesday. Picture: NSW police
The 18-year-old Albury man being led away by officers on Wednesday. Picture: NSW police

The man has been taken to Albury police station and is expected to be hit with terrorism-related charges including urging violence against others and advocating terrorism.

His arrest followed an investigation from the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team, a collaboration between the Australian Federal Police and NSW Police Force, which began in August.

Assistant Commissioner Lee said the man had come to their attention after allegedly using social media to access "extreme right-wing material".

"That has included bomb making materials which he has sought to provide to others as part of his activities to urge others to commit terrorist acts and violence against community members," he claimed.

"The decision to arrest the male today was made as a result of an escalation that we saw in this male's online behaviour which continued until this morning."

Police will allege that "escalation" included the support for a mass-causalty event and "potentially his involvement in that event" but there was no specific attack planned.

"There was a post up until the very early hours of this morning which actually expressed support for a previous mass shooting event that had occurred internationally."

The man hid his face with a jumper. Picture: NSW police
The man hid his face with a jumper. Picture: NSW police

Assistant Commissioner Lee said that event was not the Christchurch massacre.

Footage from the man's arrest shows police approaching an idyllic suburban house with cars parked in the driveway.

He was then escorted from the home by two officers with a black hoodie draped over his head.

The arrest comes on the same day the New Zealand government released the findings of a Royal Commission into the Christchurch massacre.

The horrific shooting attack, committed by an Australian man, claimed the lives of 51 people at two mosques in 2019.

Mark Walton, the Assistant Commissioner of NSW Police's Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics team, said police will allege the teen was advocating violence against "almost anyone who didn't look like him".

The man will first face Albury Local Court when charged, but police hope to bring his case to a court in Sydney. Picture: NSW police
The man will first face Albury Local Court when charged, but police hope to bring his case to a court in Sydney. Picture: NSW police

"More specifically it's non-whites, it's immigrants, it's people of the Jewish and Islamic faith," he said.

He said there was always a risk of people who congregated online to "explore their corrupt ideology", putting their threats into action.

"In the environment that we work in we're not waiting for people to come to us. We have techniques that (help) us to scan the digital environment," Assistant Commissioner Walton said.

"But we always rely on information from members of the community.

"We will always urge them to come forward and assist us in the early disruption of … people moving from thoughts to actions."

Police are continuing their investigations into others identified in the man's conversations.

The man is expected to be charged and could face Albury Local Court tomorrow.

The AFP said in a statement an application would be made to bring him before a court in Sydney at a later date.

Originally published as Teen 'urged terror attacks': cops

Police arrive at the Albury home. Picture: NSW police
Police arrive at the Albury home. Picture: NSW police