Two people have been arrested by the joint counter-terrorism taskforce in Sydney as part of the ongoing Operation Appleby.
A 20 year-old man and a 16-year-old schoolgirl were arrested in Guildford this morning.
They are expected to be charged on suspicion of financing a terrorist group — an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment.
“We will be alleging that they were involved in obtaining money to send offshore to assist the Islamic State group in its activities,” NSW police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn said, however she would not specify the amount of money that had been sent or how it was raised.
“Those matters will come out at court but we do continue to investigate the transfer of money offshore.”
Police say they have been interested in the man for some time. He is the 14th person to be charged as part of the counter-terrorism operation. Meanwhile the schoolgirl was not known to authorities.
“There has been some activity with the young girl, but now that she is before the court I am clearly reluctant to say too much,” said Burn.
The police will be alleging that today’s activities are “a new offence”.
“But it is ongoing issues that we’ve been investigating about the financing of terrorism and funds being sent offshore,” repeated Burn.
Speaking alongside her, AFP deputy commissioner national security Michael Phelan said that today’s arrests did not relate to the planning of a terrorist attack in Australia, and there was no imminent threat to the community as a result of today’s activity.
It is believed that the pair knew each other and were arrested at the same location in western Sydney. Burn confirmed that arrest was not made at a house.
The police said the age of the teen was a concern.
“I previously said that it was disturbing that we continue to deal with teenage children in this environment. And today’s arrest hasn’t altered that position,” said Burn.
“Once again we have demonstrated, and will continue to do so, the effectiveness of our Joint Counter Terrorism Team’s ability to investigate terror planning and to put people before the courts.”
In December a 15-year-old boy was arrested also as part of Operation Appleby.
He was arrested at Georges Hall and was charged with one count of conspiracy to conduct an act in preparation for a terrorist act.
It also not the first time Guilford has been a target for Operation Appleby.
In September 2014, Guildford, along with a number of other suburbs across Sydney and Brisbane were raided by police as part of the country’s largest ever counter-terrorism operation.
As a result Omarjan Azari, 22, from Guildford, was charged with planning a terrorist attack which involved beheading a member of the public.
The suburb was also raided by police as part of a separate police operation, Operation Hammerhead, later that month.
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