Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop among alleged targets for alleged Islamic State affiliate charged over terrorism offences
A police source has confirmed Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop were among a list of potential targets allegedly documented in the notebook of a Sri Lankan man charged with a terrorism-related offence.
Mohamed Nizamdeen, 25, was charged on Friday with possessing a blueprint to target several “symbolic” Sydney locations, after officers from NSW’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) arrested him at Kensington, in Sydney’s south-east.
The University of New South Wales contractor appeared in Waverley Local Court where he was refused bail, with the matter adjourned to October 24.
A police source confirmed to the ABC on Friday night that the former prime minister and former foreign affairs minister were allegedly targets for the man.
Mr Nizamdeen is in Australia on a student visa, and police will allege they found documents containing plans to facilitate terrorism attacks on the university campus.
Police searched a unit on Defries Avenue in Zetland about 2:00am on Friday, where they seized several electronic items. They are currently searching his workplace.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) detective superintendent Michael McTiernan said the charges were “serious and significant”.
“It is quite a significant document which requires further analysis,” he said.
Police allege Mr Nizamdeen was acting on his own, and despite telling a media conference he appeared to be an Islamic State affiliate, they have not charged him with being a member of a terrorist organisation.
The ABC understands Mr Nizamdeen was working is a business systems analyst in UNSW’s IT department, including working on a project to help students better understand cyber security.
NSW Police detective acting superintendent Michael Sheehy said investigations were in their infancy.
“At this stage, there [are] no concerns for public safety,” he said.
“This is clearly an offence in relation to the preparation of a document. It is not an offence in relation to capability of this individual.”
The JCTT comprises officers from the AFP, NSW Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.
Police said Mr Nizamdeen’s visa was to expire in September, and that he was in the process of applying for another one.