University of NSW staffer charged with terrorism offence

By @chelean on
The campus of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, August 4, 2016.
The campus of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, August 4, 2016. Reuters/Jason Reed

A staffer from the University of New South Wales was arrested and charged with a terrorism on Thursday. The 25-year-old Sri Lankan man allegedly was in possession of documents containing plans to facilitate terrorism attacks.

Mohamed Nizamdeen was arrested following an NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) investigation. The documents were found on the University grounds, according to police. They contain plans to facilitate terrorism attacks, as well as a blueprint targeting “symbolic” locations in Sydney.

Nizamdeen was taken to Maroubra Police Station and charged with collecting or making a document connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act, as per section 101.5 of the Criminal Code Act. He was refused bail.

Following inquiries, the JCTT obtained a search warrant at Nizamdeen’s unit on Defries Avenue at Zetland on Friday. The officers found and seized a number of electronic items for further examination.

“Our JCTT investigators work around the clock and act quickly to disrupt any threats to community safety, NSWPF NSW JCTT Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Mick Sheehy said. “The community should feel safe knowing our law enforcement agencies are working together to investigate all individuals who come to our attention.”

According to the police, Nizamdeen, a contractor at the UNSW and is on student visa, has recently been overseas, travelling from Australia and Sri Lanka and “other areas.” He was not known to police and does not have any criminal record. His student visa is set to expire in September.

AFP NSW JCTT Coordinator, Detective Superintendent Michael McTiernan has encouraged the public to reach out to them if they have any information.

“This investigation is a tangible example of swift action from our joint teams, and the importance of close ties between police and the community. If you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, be vigilant, reach out to allow us to make an early intervention,” McTiernan said.

JCTT is comprised of officers from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.

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