Friggin wannabe terrorists or facebook heroes by the look of them. Do not be deceived though, this is real and current and can bee happening in your very own street…Obviously they were not very clever pre posting a video leading to their arrest, amateurs really. But that is the way of the lone wolf it seems.
Sydney terror raid: Two men arrested, hunting knife and flag seized
- 1 hour ago February 11, 2015 6:36PM
- Two men arrested at Fairfield home hours before atrocity, say police
- Machete, large hunting knife and IS flag seized.
- Video, allegedly featuring one of the men, referred to IS attack
- Neighbours described their ‘disbelief’ and ‘fear’
- Premier Mike Baird said details of the plot were ‘beyond disturbing’
THE two men arrested in terror raids yesterday had been living in a small granny flat at the back of a share house in Fairfield, where neighbours today spoke of their disbelief.
Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, and Mohammad Kiad, 25, were arrested at the flat on Riverview Rd, Fairfield about 4pm yesterday by the Joint Counter Terrorism Taskforce after a receiving information that an attack was imminent.
Police allege the pair had armed themselves with a machete and large hunting knife and were due to carry out a terror attack yesterday before police swooped.
Roberto Macatangay has lived in a caravan at the back of the property and said he knew Mr Al-Kutobi, a computer science student, for about three years.
He said Mohammad Kiad moved into the property only last year.
“I’m scared that I’m living with these people, “ Mr Macatangay said. “They seemed to be really nice. They were sarcastic people but I didn’t mind that. We used to joke about religion, about Mohammad and Jesus Christ.”
Mr Macatangay said he did not believe Kiad worked full-time, but may have been studying for a forklift licence, and often visited a nearby recreational centre to do weight-lifting.
The 25-year-old has permanent residency in Australia and Al-Kutobi was granted Australian citizenship last year, he said.
They don’t mingle much
Manueal Abello, tenant in the main house
On his Facebook site, Kiad listed himself as married but Mr Macatangay said the couple separated last year when he moved in with Al-Kutobi.
Mr Macatangay, a pensioner who moved to Australia from Hong Kong three years ago, said he was at home when heavily armed police stormed the property yesterday afternoon.
They carried out a search warrant at the property, sifting through the granny flat and Mohammad’s car, parked in the street, until the early hours of this morning.
“I was totally surprised and really scared because the gun was pointing at me,” Mr Macatangay said.
“I was watching TV in my caravan and suddenly the electrics turned off. I saw the police, they had their faces covered up with helmet and heavy machine gun. I didn’t know what was happening.
“They asked me about the people living there.”
The small, white granny flat remained locked yesterday. A small religious prayer flag could be seen hanging in a back room of the flat, along with study books, clothes and drawers that had been pulled out and left on the floor.
THE TENANT AND THE OWNER
The owner of the property said Kiad and Al-Kutobi rented the two-bedroom granny flat at the back of the property for about $200 a week.
She said she had never been inside as they always kept it locked up.
Manuel Abello, a tenant in the main house, said the pair were nice but very private.
“They don’t mingle much,” he said.
“I never expected this at all. They are quite nice. Very rarely they have guests.” Kiad’s car is still parked out the front of the Fairfield property, with finger printing dust the only tell-tale signs of the police search on Tuesday.
Police raided the men’s home and searched a car and where they work. Both men were charged with undertaking acts in preparation of planning a terrorist act and will face court this morning.
A number of items were seized in the raids including a machete, a hunting knife, a home-made flag representing terrorist organisation IS and a video which depicted a man talking about carrying out an attack.
Fairfield Local Court heard the pair have spoken with a lawyer, but he is unavailable to appear for them in court today.
The pair’s legal aid lawyer didn’t apply for bail on the mens’ behalf and it was formally refused by magistrate Vivien Swain. The men did not appear in court after asking not to be brought up from the cells.
Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt told the court the matter should be moved to Central Local Court due to “security issues.”
We believe the men were potentially going to….kill somebody
Two sheriffs officers today were searching bags and scanning every person who entered the complex ahead of the appearance of the two men.
Magistrate Vivienne Swain adorned the case until tomorrow, when both bail applications are expected to be heard.
The men will be assisted in their applications by an Arabic interpreter.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said it will be alleged that the two were going to undertake an act of terrorism in Australia as revenge for incidents overseas.
“What we are going to allege is consistent with the IS messaging,” she said.
“We believe that the men were potentially going to harm somebody, maybe even kill somebody, and potentially using one of the items that we identified and recovered yesterday, potentially a knife.”
She added that police will allege the attack was due to be carried out yesterday, with a video shaping to be a key piece of evidence.
Police do not know the nature of the alleged terrorist’s target but urged people to remain vigilant, whether that be police, military or the general public.
“And a really, really important message about that vigilance is that everybody needs to remain alert and no matter what that piece of information is, it is really helpful,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
The pair were not known to police, and police say they were only made aware of the planned activity recently.
AFP deputy commissioner Michael Phelan said the threat was acted on as quickly as possible.
Premier Mike Baird said he could not comment on what the accused terrorists were planning, but said it was “beyond disturbing”.
“I was very concerned. You can’t help but be on edge given the events that we have seen last December, the events we’ve seen around the world. This is an ongoing battle, an ongoing fight,” Mr Baird said.
The Premier thanked police for foiling the terror plot.
Police in a previous raid last year spoke of a plot to behead someone in Martin Place. It is understood that alleged plot involved abducting a random Australian, executing them by beheading in a public place, possibly Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD, and filming the act and posting it on social media.