Home Australia Sydney man arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State fronts Parramatta court

Sydney man arrested for allegedly supporting Islamic State fronts Parramatta court

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A 24-year-old man from Sydney’s south-west has faced court after being arrested for allegedly pledging allegiance to Islamic State.

Joseph Saadieh from Chester Hill was arrested on Friday following a seven-month investigation by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCCT).

At Parramatta court on Saturday, he did not apply for bail but is expected to apply next Friday when he fronts court again.

Mr Saadieh’s lawyer Ihab Jamal said his client was keen to have his day in court.

“We have spoken to his family they are very concerned for him and they are standing by his side,” he said.

“He’s doing OK in the grand scheme of things and he is keen to have his say.”

Police said they found evidence that he had joined Islamic State back in 2018.

He has been charged with membership of the terrorist group.

Police said the man’s online comments had escalated recently, that he had collected a large amount of online extreme material and was in possession of several improvised explosive recipes.

A raid on Mr Saadieh’s home and a home in Sefton lead police to computers and mobile phones where the alleged extremist conversations were made.

Australian Federal Police Commander Counter Terrorism Investigations Stephen Dametto said the man’s actions were not in line with the Islamic faith.

“His actions are criminal and they represent hatred and terror,” Commander Dametto said.

“We will allege in court that this man was a member of ISIS and it shows there are still those in the community that seek to do us harm.

“The items found show that this individual posed a significant risk to the Australian community and we will act early to ensure safety of the Australian people”.

Commander Dametto said Mr Saadieh had shown violent jihad support and would often justify martyrdom.

“He has actually been a member of Islamic State for quite a while … he had an extremist ideology,” he said.

“What really lead us was how his online rhetoric increased we’re always going to put the community first.”

Police said while investigations into IS recruitment in Australia are ongoing they do not anticipate further arrests connected to the case.

 

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