Australia

Three charged over IS Sydney terror plot

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A third man alleged to be a member of IS has been charged in Sydney as his accused accomplice smiles in court.

A man accused of being a member of a terrorist cell which allegedly planned to carry out an attack in Sydney for Islamic State has smiled as the case was detailed in court.

Federal and NSW counter-terrorism police arrested three men after raiding six properties in Sydney's west on Tuesday morning.

Radwan Dakkak, 23, appeared in Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday charged with being a member of terror organisation.

As the prosecutor named the organisation as Islamic State, Dakkak smiled to supporters and raised his eyebrows, while a group of young men smiled back.

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Three Sydney men arrested in counter-terrorism operation
Three Sydney men arrested in counter-terrorism operation

A 20-year-old has also been charged with being a member of a terror organisation and a 30-year-old with deception charges.

Court documents allege Dakkak knowingly joined IS in December 2018.

Detectives say Dakkak, from Toongabbie, is "prominent in the global online extremist community".

AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said the plot was in the "early stages" of planning and targeted police stations, defence establishments, embassies and consulates, councils, courts and churches in Sydney's CBD.

Dakkak did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. He is expected before Parramatta Local Court via audiovisual link on August 30.

One of three men arrested allegedly linked to a terror plot
One of three men arrested allegedly linked to a terror plot
Australian Federal Police

His lawyer Mohomed Abbas did not comment as he left court.

His supporters also remained tight-lipped.

While Dakkak faced court, counter terror investigators charged Isaac El Matari with being a member of a terror organisation, preparing for a terrorist act and preparing to enter a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

The 20-year-old Greenacre man allegedly had discussions about importing firearms and explosives to carry out the attack, but hadn't selected a specific target or time, authorities say.

Police allege he also made preparations to fight for IS in Afghanistan and obtained visas and purchased plane tickets.

He had a plan to purchase a firearm once he arrived in Afghanistan, police claim.

He was monitored for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon where he known to authorities.

It has been reported he was part of a deradicalisation program in Australia.

He was refused police bail and ordered to face Parramatta Local Court on Thursday.

The 30-year-old man was charged with obtaining a financial benefit by deception and granted police bail before his matter goes to court later in July. He has not been charged with terrorism offences.

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