Terror raids: AFP, ASIO move on suspected terrorists in biggest counterterrorism raid in Australia’s history

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Omarjan Azari, 22, faced court today on one count of committing an act in preparation or planning for a terrorist act. Court documents show Azari is accused of conspiring with Mohammad Baryalei, who is known to have ­recruited Australians to fight with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, including wanted terrorists Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar.

Baryalei, a part-time actor who played a paramedic in the TV Underbelly series, has been identified as the most senior Australian member of IS.

He is believed to have fled the country to join the murderous rampage through the Middle East.

Azari was arrested this morning when hundreds of ASIO and heavily armed police officers swooped in anti-terrorism raids to prevent a mass casualty shooting in Sydney and possible beheadings.

Police backed up by armoured cars arrested at least 15 people of people in 12 separate pre-dawn operations in NSW, plus three more in Brisbane.

The combined effort amounted to the largest anti-terrorism operation in Australian history — and senior officers revealed the attack by a suspected terrorist cell was imminent.

It is believed police intercepted a phone call outlining a plan to kidnap a random member of the public and murder them by beheading, while filming the act to post on social media.

It is also understood the group had planned to target a tourist, possibly in Martin Place in the CBD.

Azari, dressed in a navy hooded jacket and black pants, made a brief appearance in the dock of Central Local Court today.

Extra sheriffs surrounded the dock as he was brought up before Magistrate John Bailey.

His lawyer Steve Boland told the court no application would be made for bail, and asked that his client be taken back down to the cells.

Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt said the allegations involved a plan to “kidnap a person and gruesomely execute” and that it was a plan “clearly designed to shock, horrify and clearly terrify the community.”

The court heard an “unusual level of fanaticism” was involved in the plan “which would leave a person less likely to take notice of a court order”, and therefore bail should be refused.

Mr Boland said the allegations were based on just “one phone call.”

The case was adjourned until November 13.

Photo: Omarjan Azari sketched in the Sydney Central Court today
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The Daily Telegraph

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/terror-raids-afp-asio-move-on-suspected-terrorists-in-biggest-counterterrorism-raid-in-australias-history/story-fni0cx12-1227062152150?nk=d056953e706d730563f44d81b0d9b469