Arresting a man accused of being an ISIS soldier and a 17-year-old on Thursday morning was just the start of a plan to smash a 10-member terror cell.
Police on the same day raided six houses in Sydney linked to the group believed to be planning attacks in Australia, amid fears they had acquired weapons.
The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team believe fundamentalist Saudi-Australian preacher Mohammed Junaid Thorne, 27, is the cell’s leader.
One of those arrested, Mehmet Biber, 24, allegedly travelled to Syria in 2013 to fight for the Al-Nusra Front – an affiliate of al-Qaeda – and returned to Australia in 2014.
While there he made chilling Facebook posts of Turkish tourist attractions claiming: ‘I’m a tourist… not a terrorist’.
Thorne last year spent four months in the notorious Goulburn supermax prison, which with 24 of its 41 inmates held on terrorism charges is known as the ‘supermosque’.
He was imprisoned for flying from Perth to Sydney using a false name to evade police, but last month told ABC the experience only made him more powerful.
Thorne’s house was one of those raided on Thursday in connection with a failed plot by two teenagers to stab police officers in Bankstown last month.
The 17-year-old arrested was allegedly so devoted to ISIS that he convinced an older friend to travel to Syria and join the terror group.
Amin Elmir, 26, made the trip to Turkey in April but couldn’t find the contacts to get into Syria, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
He returned in July and though he has been under close watch since, the teen sent him encrypted social media messages encouraging him to try again.
Source: /Daily Mail