Man charged after Australian terror raids


A man was charged with terrorism offences in Australia on Thursday after a series of raids connected to a Melbourne Islamic centre.
Adnan Karabegovic, 23, was arrested in a police swoop on properties across the city that netted computers, firearms and a thumb drive containing “violent extremist materials” linked to a group at the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre.
“The individual has been charged with four counts of ‘collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts’,” police said in a statement.
“The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years’ imprisonment.”
Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard that Karabegovic had been living in Australia since he was seven, according to the Australian Associated Press (AAP), but it was unclear where he was born.
He was remanded in custody to appear before the court again on December 6, AAP said, though he can make a bail application before then.
The Herald Sun newspaper said the charges related to copies of “Inspire” — an Al-Qaeda-linked publication that last year featured an image of the Sydney Opera House.
It was the first time an Australian landmark has been prominent in extremist material, according to the government.
Australian officials have described Inspire as advocating “lone wolf” attacks, saying it aimed to show “usually disgruntled young men” how to construct bombs and use weapons.
Karabegovic was arrested during Wednesday’s raids at Al-Furqan — a meeting and worship centre and bookshop — and more than 10 associated properties, with further searches launched Thursday.
He is alleged to be among a group from the centre who police said were “contemplating and getting information” about terrorist activities, though they stressed no plot was yet in train.
Local Muslims described the Al-Furqan centre group, linked to an outspoken cleric named Sheikh Haron, as being on the fringes of the community and having radical views.
“They are a splinter group that decided to go their own way. They had their own ideologies and interpretations and the other stuff that goes with it,” said one man who occasionally prayed at the facility.
Australia has disrupted at least four major homegrown terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.