A 19-year-old Australian-born ISIS supporter, who goes by the alias Abu Bakr, has been arrested in Sydney on charges of affray and intimidation after allegedly threatening and verbally abusing a cleaner at Bankstown Central shopping centre.
The teenager was removed from the centre by security following the attack but allegedly returned an hour-and-a-half later and abused the man again, prompting officials to inform the police, the SMH reported.
Police sources suggest the incident is being treated as a religious “hate crime”, while a police spokesperson said the 43-year-old cleaner was “fearful” and had no prior relationship with the Sydney teenager.
Bakr had his passport cancelled by ASIO in December last year after the agency deemed him unfit to leave Australia as he “holds an extreme ideology and is planning to travel in order to engage in militant extremism”.
There has been mounting concern surrounding the growing number of Islamic State supporters in Sydney.
Prior to planned talks with community leaders this week to discuss the Government’s new terrorist laws, PM Tony Abbott warned against “homegrown terrorist plotting” and the need for everyone to be on “team Australia”.
“We’ve got a serious problem of radicalised people going to the Middle East to fight with terrorist groups – some of them will want to come back to Australia. They do pose a risk if they do because they’ve been radicalised, militarised and brutalised by the experience,” Abbott said on 2GB Radio this morning.
However, Abu Bakr suggests it is the Government which is encouraging radicalisation, warning that if nothing is done to stop troops fighting Muslims abroad then Australia may face the consequences.
“I just want to mention something in regards to Australia putting the terror level up … I think the Australian government and the Israeli government and the American government, they need to stop … they need to leave our countries, exit from our countries, go back to their own countries, stop killing and butchering the Muslims when you come to our countries,” Bakr told Jenny Brockie on Insight last week.
“If they’re not going to do anything about this, what’s happening to the Muslims, then something is going to happen here [in Australia],” he said.
Bakr has been charged under his real name and is set to appear at Bankstown Local Court on September 10.
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