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Sydney men accused of Islamic State-inspired plot after police raid six properties

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Three Sydney men have been arrested over an alleged Islamic State-inspired plot to attack a variety of targets in Australia including embassies and court buildings.

Federal and New South Wales counter-terrorism police raided six properties in Sydney’s west on Tuesday morning and arrested the three men aged 20, 23 and 30.

Authorities allege the younger men were members of Islamic State and the plot – which was in the “early stages” of planning – targeted police stations, defence establishments, embassies, councils, courts and churches.

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AFP assistant commissioner Ian McCartney said the 20-year-old man from Greenacre had been monitored for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon. He was known to Lebanese authorities.

AFP assistant commissioner Ian McCartney said the 20-year-old man from Greenacre had been monitored for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon



AFP assistant commissioner Ian McCartney said the 20-year-old man from Greenacre had been monitored for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

The 23-year-old from Toongabbie was allegedly “prominent in the global online extremist community”.

“There are still those people in the community who wish to do us harm,” McCartney told reporters in Sydney. “They wish to do the community of Australia harm. I want to say [however] they don’t represent the Islamic faith.”

Tuesday’s raids were conducted in Canada Bay, Chester Hill, Greenacre, Green Valley, Ingleburn and Toongabbie.

News footage showed officers removing boxes of evidence from houses.

The three men will likely be charged later on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old is expected to be charged with preparing for a terrorist act and preparing to enter a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities. He could be jailed for life if found guilty.

The 23-year-old is expected to be charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation. He could be jailed for 10 years.

The 30-year-old, who is an associate of the other men, is expected to be charged with obtaining financial benefit by deception through fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits. He too faces 10 years behind bars.

“There is no immediate threat to the safety of the community as a result of this activity,” a NSW police spokeswoman said earlier on Tuesday.

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