Accused Islamic State recruiter arrives in Australia from Turkey facing terrorism charges



A man wanted for suspected terrorism offences has been arrested in Melbourne upon his return to Australia.

Mohamed Zuhbi arrived at Melbourne airport yesterday about 4pm after being deported by Turkey where he had served an 18-month prison sentence for joining Islamic State and other related crimes.

Authorities allege the 30-year old travelled from Turkey to Syria, where he allegedly facilitated the travel of foreign terrorist fighters to support Islamic State (IS).

Mr Zuhbi is facing multiple terrorism charges, including one count of knowingly giving support and resources to a terrorist organisation, and one count of engaging in a hostile activity in a foreign state.

The former Sydney man is also facing three counts of providing support for another person to engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state.

Mr Zuhbi is currently undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Victorian corrections facility before he is extradited to New South Wales.

His arrest comes after an ongoing operation by the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force (NSWPF), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission, following an investigation into the man’s alleged travel from Sydney to Turkey in 2013.

Mr Zuhbi appeared before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning via video link.

READ MORE: COVID-19 restrictions extended for Sydney, as hunt for mystery cases continues

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Man injured in car crashSix-year-old Perth girl a skating prodigyTwo men hospitalised after car crashShop owner punched in break-inQueensland outlines budget wish-listPolice issue warning against youth knife crimeAccused ISIS recruiter arrested at Melbourne airportWoman charged over Sydney axe attackFrydenberg previews federal budgetWoman charged after axe attack in Sydney's south-westAccused ISIS supporter back in Australia facing terrorism offencesFederal Budget 2021: Treasurer defends trillion-dollar debt as new expenditure revealedAt least 30 killed in explosion near Afghan high schoolWave washes man on jet ski into rocks



Man injured in car crashSix-year-old Perth girl a skating prodigyTwo men hospitalised after car crashShop owner punched in break-inQueensland outlines budget wish-listPolice issue warning against youth knife crimeAccused ISIS recruiter arrested at Melbourne airportWoman charged over Sydney axe attackFrydenberg previews federal budgetWoman charged after axe attack in Sydney's south-westAccused ISIS supporter back in Australia facing terrorism offencesFederal Budget 2021: Treasurer defends trillion-dollar debt as new expenditure revealedAt least 30 killed in explosion near Afghan high schoolWave washes man on jet ski into rocks

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DOJ Budget Includes $85M Increase to Fight Domestic Terrorism



Attorney General Merrick Garland told House lawmakers Tuesday that the Biden Administration’s 2022 budget request for the Department of Justice (DOJ) would seek an $85 million increase from last year’s budget for domestic terrorism investigations and cases.

“Our budget supports my commitment to protecting our national security, including addressing both international and domestic terrorism while respecting civil liberties.” Garland testified to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. “It includes increases of $45 million for the FBI domestic terrorism investigations and $40 million for the U.S. attorneys to manage increasing domestic terrorism caseloads.”

The increase from last year’s budget for domestic terrorism cases comes as Democrats have sought to label Trump supporters who protested on January 6 at the Capitol as domestic terrorists, domestic violent extremists, and white supremacists. Committee Chairman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) said at the hearing the “attack on the Capitol” was an “unprecedented” threat from domestic violent extremism.

Garland testified during his confirmation hearing that his first priority as attorney general would be the investigation into January 6. So far, the DOJ has charged more than 400 people as part of that investigation.

Garland also said at Tuesday’s hearing the threat of domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism keeps him up at night.

“My oath is to protect the Constitution and Americans from all enemies, both foreign and domestic,” he said. “And so both forms of terrorism are extraordinary concern to me. We never want to take our eyes off of what happened on 9/11 and that the risks that the country continues to face from foreign terrorist attacks on the homeland.”

“Likewise, we have a growing fear of domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism and both of those keep me up at night…virtually every morning, I get a briefing from the FBI in one of the other or both areas,” he told the committee.

Committee Ranking Member Robert Aderholt (R-AL) pressed Garland on why the FBI classified the 2017 congressional baseball game shooting that targeted Republican members of Congress as a case of “suicide by cop” instead of domestic terrorism, despite the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence doing so, as previously reported by Breitbart News.

The attorney general said he had not yet had a chance to speak to the FBI about it and promised he would do so.

Garland also said the total budget request seeks to increase the DOJ’s civil rights funding by $33 million, for a total of $209 million for the civil rights division, the community relations service, and related civil rights work. The budget will also include a “historic investment of $1 billion” to support the department’s Office of Violence Against Women.

The DOJ budget request includes an increase of $304 million, for a total of $1.2 billion, for programs that support “community-oriented policing and addressing systemic inequities,” he said.

He also said funding to combat gun violence would increase by $232 million, for community violence intervention programs, to improve background checks, and for more comprehensive red flag laws.

Garland promised the DOJ would step up its work on environmental justice, asserting that “communities of color, low-income communities, and tribal communities often suffer the most harm from environmental crimes and pollution.”

Garland also requested a 21% budget increase for the Executive Office for Immigration Review that will pay for 100 new immigration judges, improved technology, and other “efficiency mechanisms” to reduce a backlog of nearly 1.3 million cases pending before immigration courts.

“I have mentioned only a few of the department’s important programs this morning. I ask your support for our budget as the entire department works to ensure adherence to the rule of law, protection and public safety, and equal justice for all Americans,” he testified.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook. 



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Brisbane man charged with terrorism charges denied bail, Melbourne man to be extradited to Queensland


Gabriel Crazzi, 34, from Chambers Flat, south of Brisbane, is facing seven charges including making “incursions into foreign states with the intention of engaging in hostile activities” and preparations for the incursions.

He and his co-accused, Ahmed Talib, 31, from Melbourne, are alleged to have funded Queensland man Ahmed Succarieh’s 2013 trip to Syria.

Succarieh became Australia’s first suicide bomber after he drove a truck loaded with explosives into a military checkpoint in Syria.

Mr Talib appeared in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court yesterday and will be extradited to Queensland.

Officers expect him to arrive in Brisbane early next week. 

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the men played senior roles in a south-east Queensland-based syndicate that maintained religiously motivated violent extremist ideology and a desire to travel to Syria to engage in hostile activities.

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ASIO needs to counter terrorism with clear language


It may be that our intelligence agencies don’t have much credibility disputing Muslim scholars who point to religious sources that reject terrorist behaviour. They don’t want to stir up trouble with moderate Muslims who oppose terrorism: ASIO understands the need for our Muslim communities to put trust in and co-operate with our counter-terrorism agencies.

But that shouldn’t require them to use nonsense language when it comes to the links between Islam and terrorism or to pander to those conservatives who take exception to the term “right-wing” being linked to terrorism.

ASIO’s director-general of security Mike Burgess.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The Left can certainly produce extremists and terrorists and left-wing terrorism does pose a threat. Think here of “new left” terrorism in the 1960s and ’70s. In West Germany, for example, the Red Army conducted assassinations and bombed business and military establishments.

But it’s not left-wing terrorism that ASIO is worried about. It just isn’t statistically significant. Rather it’s the extreme end of right-wing politics that’s the concern. The term “extreme” is the delineator. When you’ve got a misogynistic and racist group who believe in the inherent superiority of their in-group (mostly white men), who think the white race is under threat of extinction and that an authoritarian leader is needed to save them, then it’s right-wing extremism.

When you don’t call things by their real name, you insult the public by pretending the jihadist violence we’re seeing isn’t coming out of Muslim communities. Our security services should stop spending too much time worrying about community harmony, (leave that to state multicultural agencies). It’s delusional to think that ASIO’s new terms will somehow shift how we tackle Islamist ideology that’s trying to destroy from within the Islamic religion.

Perhaps ASIO’s new terminology makes some sense when it comes to investigating specific individuals once they’re known. But the reality is that ASIO’s new umbrella terms don’t address the threats we face.

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ASIO’s Director-General is warning that looking out to 2025, espionage and foreign interference will supplant terrorism as our principal security concern. But terrorism will remain a persistent problem: the threat level for terrorism remains at “probable”. Last week Victoria Police charged two men in Melbourne with planning a terrorist act and one with being a member of Islamic State.

Since his original statement on the new counter-terrorism terminology ASIO’s head has said that it doesn’t preclude him from identification of groups and trends within those categories. That’s encouraging. In the meantime our political leaders shouldn’t be cowed when they call a spade a spade. They should use the terms Islamist terrorism and right-wing extremism that Australians well understand. When it comes to countering terrorism we should welcome clear language.

Anthony Bergin is a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

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Two men charged with terrorism offences in Melbourne, one an alleged ISIS member



A Melbourne teenager allegedly bought a knife minutes before he was arrested and charged with terror offences.

Aran Sherani was charged with a string of terror offences including being a member of ISIS after her was arrested by counter terror police yesterday.

Investigators allege the 19-year-old and his brother Ari Sherani started a fire in Humevale, but had plans for more violence.

The two fronted court today, where it was alleged Aran Ashari planned to commit an act of terrorism with a knife.
The Epping teenager was arrested moments after allegedly purchasing the weapon yesterday, and is now facing life in prison.
Detectives allege Sherani became radicalised by Islamic Extremists online and that he shared his ideologies with 20-year-old brother Ari.
Lawyers for the brothers told the court they would be vulnerable in custody due to the nature of the charges.

It was revealed neither had been in trouble with the law before, and they only came to the attention of counter terror officers as the motivation behind a grassfire and assault surfaced earlier this month.
Both are accused of starting the Humevale fire on February 18 while Aran allegedly assaulted a person in Preston on March 9.

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Terrorism offences laid against two men arrested in Melbourne police operation


Two Melbourne men charged with terrorism offences are brothers, a court has heard.

Ari Sherani, 20, and his younger brother, Aran Sherani, 19, appeared today in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court where they are facing a number of charges laid by a joint counter-terrorism team consisting of Victoria Police, the AFP and ASIO.

Both men were remanded in custody, and neither made an application for bail.

Ari Sherani appeared via videolink from the Melbourne Custody Centre wearing a white shirt, and sat with his arms crossed.

He is accused of attempting to engage in a terrorist act.

He spoke sparingly in the hearing, at first just acknowledging that he could hear the court.

His lawyer, Louis Dean, told the court that his client was vulnerable due to his age and “lack of criminal history”.

“It is Mr Ari Sherani’s first time in custody as well. He’s 20 years old,” Mr Dean said.

Magistrate Simon Zebrowski remanded him in custody and asked if he understood the proceedings.

“I understand, your honour,” Mr Sherani said.

“Thank you very much. You’re excused, sir. They can bring your brother in,” the magistrate said.

Aran Sherani, 19, also appeared by videolink from the same location and leaned forward to listen to the proceedings, resting his face on his hands.

 He is facing four charges including intentionally being a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS – as well as attempting to engage in a terrorist act.

Federal police officers are also accusing him of intentionally causing injury and buying a knife in preparation for a terrorist act.

His lawyer Sarah Condon told the court that her client was also vulnerable.

“There are a number of custody management issues,” Ms Condon said.

“It’s his first time in custody. I just ask that your honour make a note of that.”

Both men will return to court in July.

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Sweden attack: Terrorism suspected after mass stabbing in Vetlanda



At least eight people are injured in the town of Vetlanda before the suspect is shot and injured.

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Threat of domestic terrorism remains high, says US Homeland Security, with Donald Trump supporters ’emboldened’ by Capitol attack


The threat of a violent attack in the United States is likely to remain high for a number of weeks, with extremists and angry Donald Trump supporters “emboldened” by the deadly US Capitol riots and seizing on COVID-19 misinformation.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a “terror advisory” on Wednesday (local time), warning the risk of violence and terrorism “will persist in the weeks following the successful presidential inauguration”.

It did not specify any particular threat.

“Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fuelled by false narratives, could continue to mobilise to incite or commit violence,” the alert said.

The riots on the US Capitol on January 6 claimed five lives, as supporters of Mr Trump stormed the seat of American democracy in a bid to stop Congress certifying the election of Joe Biden as President.

Mr Trump is now facing a second impeachment trial, due to begin in February, after the House of Representatives charged him with inciting the angry mob with false claims the election had been stolen from him.

More than 20,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington DC ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, with the National Mall and downtown DC encased in a steel and concrete barricades.

The majority of those troops have now left the city and much of the fencing has been removed. The US Capitol building, however, remains behind security cordons.

The DHS alert points to both “domestic violent extremists” and “homegrown violent extremists”.

The former relates to people committing criminal acts based on influences within the United States, such as anti-government sentiment and racial tensions, while the latter are Americans radicalised by foreign terror organisations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Five people died in the attack on the Capitol building on January 6.(Reuters: Leah Millis)

Homeland Security said it had been monitoring domestic extremists throughout 2020, and had picked up on motivations including “anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force”.

The alert goes further than just citing the US Capitol riots as an example of extremist behaviour. It also refers to the 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas where 23 people died in a racially motivated attack.

In the hours following President Biden’s inauguration last week, protestors were met with tear gas in the city of Portland, Oregon, as they rallied against his elevation to the country’s highest office.

“President Biden condemns violence and any violence in the strongest possible terms,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.

“Peaceful protests are a cornerstone of our democracy, but smashing windows is not protesting, and neither is looting.

“And actions like these are totally unacceptable, and anyone who committed a crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

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Pakistan sentences Lakhvi to five years for terrorism financing



FILE PHOTO: A supporter of Shiv Sena, a Hindu hardline group, holds Pakistan’s national flag and a portrait of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi during a protest against Lakhvi’s release, in New Delhi April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

January 8, 2021

By Mubasher Bukhari

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – A Pakistan court on Friday sentenced Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, a senior official of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to five years in jail for terrorism financing.

Lakhvi and the group are accused by India and the United States of being behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks – though the charges or sentence are not related to any specific incident.

He was sentenced to five years concurrently on three counts, with a fine of 100,000 rupees on each count, an order from the court seen by Reuters said.

India has long called on Pakistan to try Lakhvi for the Mumbai attack, in which over 160 people were killed, but Islamabad has said that Delhi has not given it concrete evidence that it can use in a court to try the LeT leader, which it had initially arrested in 2008 but was later released on bail.

He was arrested again on charges of terrorism financing on Saturday.

The United States welcomed his arrest but called for him to be tried for the Mumbai attacks, too.

“We will follow his prosecution & sentencing closely & urge that he be held accountable for his involvement in the Mumbai attacks,” the U.S. State Department said on Twitter.

According to Delhi, the lone surviving gunman of the attack, who was executed in 2012 after sentencing by an Indian court, told interrogators that the assailants were in touch with Pakistan-born Lakhvi, who is said to be LeT’s chief of operations

A U.N. Security Council sanctions committee says Lakhvi is involved in militant activity in a number of other regions and countries, including Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. .

Lakhvi’s lawyer did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

A spokesman for the Counter Terrorism Department said in a statement that Lakhvi had been sent to prison to serve the sentences.

Another man that India says was the mastermind of the Mumbai siege, Hafiz Saeed, was convicted by a Pakistani court on two charges of terrorism financing last year.

Saeed denies involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

(Reporting by Mubasher Bukhari in Lahore; Writing by Gibran Peshimam; editing by John Stonestreet and Giles Elgood)



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