Police raids on properties across western Sydney this morning has resulted in the detainment of four men.
The detainments have been made in relation to the shooting at Parramatta’s police headquarters on Friday, in which 15-year-old Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad shot and killed 17-year police force veteran and accountant Curtis Cheng.
Farhad was also shot and killed by police at the scene.
About 200 police officers, including officers from the Homicide Squad and Australian Federal Police, were involved in the raids which were carried out about 6am at homes in Merrylands, Guildford, Wentworthville and Marsfield.
Deputy commissioner Catherine Burn says that the joint counter terrorism teams undertook four search warrants in relation to the death of police force veteran and accountant Curtis Cheng, and those warrants resulting in four detainments.
Due to the ongoing investigation, the deputy commissioner could only provide limited information on the detainments but said that they would not speculate on what charges the men may receive while search warrants were still be conducted.
She confirmed that the men were aged 16 years, 18 years and two were aged 22 years old. She also clarified that a 24 year old had been arrested on a separate fraud matter which was unrelated to other detainments.
The men have been separated and sent to various police stations across Sydney.
The police are still at the scene, which Burns suggested they would be for sometime, and will continue to treat the investigation as a terrorism event.
“The reasons why we are conducting searches is because we suspect a terrorism offence has occurred.”
She also confirmed that the police still don’t know where the gun Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad used to kill Cheng originated from.
“The examination of the firearm is continuing, as is other pieces of evidence,” she said.
She confirmed that police did not have the deceased gunman on their radar before the shooting on Friday, and did not consider him a threat.
“Some of the people we are now interested in are people who’ve come to our notice under operation Appleby,” she said.
“We have been saying since September last year that a terrorist attack was likely.
“The people we have detained today we believe are going to assist with the murder investigation.
“We will sift through that information and review it for evidence so we can pursue those matters in court.
“I call for calm and vigilance from every single member of the community… [we’re] all supportive of bringing the people responsible to justice.”
The police are now interested in talking to the gunman’s sister about what she knows about her brother’s actions. She is believed to be in the Middle East.
“There is nothing to suggest she has been involved, but police have contacted Turkish authorities keen to speak to her about her brother.”
The detainments follow another raid on the home of a Guildford teenager overnight, after he was stopped by police on his way to Arthur Phillip High School yesterday morning, in relation to alleged threatening posts on social media.
The Australian Federal Police have since said Wednesday morning’s raids were not connected to the arrest on Tuesday morning of the student outside Arthur Phillip High School.
He was later charged with assaulting and intimidating police, two counts of resisting arrest and using a carriage to menace, harass and offend.
More to come.