Counter-terrorism police raided a number of properties across western Sydney today, with four males relation, aged between 16 and 22, detained over last week’s shooting at Parramatta’s police headquarters.
Year 10 school student, Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad, 15, shot and killed accountant Curtis Cheng.
Jabar was a student at Arthur Phillip High in Parramatta.
Deputy police commissioner Catherine Burn said the gunman, who was shot by police at the scene, had not been on their radar nor had he been considered a threat before the incident.
“Some of the people we are now interested in are people who’ve come to our notice under [counter-terrorism investigation] operation Appleby,” she said.
“The people we have detained today we believe are going to assist with the ongoing investigation.”
In an unrelated incident, police arrested another student on his way to the school on Tuesday morning over alleged posts he had made on social media following the attack.
It’s not yet known where or if the 16-year-old arrested today attends school.
NSW premier Mike Baird said today more must be done to combat radicalisation in NSW schools and acknowledged Sydney has a problem with Islamic extremism.
Asked whether the public should be concerned about radicalisation at Arthur Phillip High, Baird would not be drawn on the issue.
“There have been some isolated incidents, they are being dealt with by police, they are being dealt with by the Department of Education,” he said, adding that additional support and programs into NSW schools would be fast-tracked following Friday’s terror offence.
“My strong assurance to the people of NSW is that our schools are safe,” he said.
“This is a complicated problem ….We have to do more and we will. This is something we have to get right.”
Principal Lynne Goodwin released a message today on the school’s website.
“Over the weekend media has reported on the tragic death of a police worker and the involvement of an Arthur Phillip High School student. NSW Police have advised the school that there is no ongoing threat as a result of last Friday’s tragic event,” she writes.
“I would like to reassure the whole Arthur Phillip High School community that the school continues to be in close liaison with the Department of Education and the NSW Police to uphold our exemplary levels of student safety and student wellbeing.
“Our school counsellors are available for all students, if required, today or in the future.”
“The school appreciates the wonderfully warm and resolute support from parents and the broader school community at this difficult time.”
In February, the Baird government announced Arthur Phillip High would be a part of a $100 million redevelopment plan.
The school located on Macquarie Street, along with the adjacent Parramatta Public School, will be converted into two massive 15-storey building for 3000 students.
See more on that here.
According to the school’s most recent annual report, there were 1404 students enrolled at Arthur Phillip High School in 2014. Of the school population more than 90% were from language backgrounds other than English, and students represented over 40 different cultures.