Melbourne man charged after 'trying to leave Australia to fight ISIS'

Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

A Melbourne man has been charged by the Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) for his alleged attempt to travel to Northern Iraq and fight with Kurdish forces against the Islamic State (IS).

It will be alleged in court that the 28-year-old from Epping, Melbourne undertook preparations and attempted to attempted to board a flight at Melbourne airport bound for Qatar, with a final destination to be Northern Iraq, in December 2014.

Various items of military-style equipment and clothing were found in his luggage at the time.

Investigations by the Melbourne JCTT, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Victoria Police resulted in the man being arrested yesterday evening.

He has been charged with one count of preparations for incursions into foreign countries for purpose of engaging in hostile activities, contrary to section 119.4(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The AFP National Manager Counter Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said while the man didn’t actually travel to the conflict area, people need to be aware that actively planning to travel to these still constitutes a criminal offence.

“The AFP and its partner agencies will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute individuals who choose to ignore the repeated warnings of the government, police and the community,” he said.

He is expected to appear in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court today.

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