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Source: Australian Federal Police

A 36-year-old man from Melbourne’s western suburbs has today been jailed for 12 years after being convicted of terrorism offences, including making preparations for a terrorist attack in 2016.

The Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) launched Operation Fortaleza in January 2016 to investigate the man regarding concerns he was attempting to carry out violent acts in support of extreme right wing beliefs.

The investigation resulted in the then-31-year-old’s arrest on 6 August 2016, when he was charged with two terrorism offences.

Investigators executed a search warrant on the man’s residence and seized 362.1 grams of mercury in a glass jar, five conducted electrical devices (CEDs), three computer hard drives and various storage devices.

The seized items formed part of a suite of evidence presented to the court, with subsequent digital forensic analysis revealing documents on the seized hard drives that were alleged to be planning documents for a terrorist act.

It was alleged in court that the man was collecting or making documents that were likely to be used to facilitate terrorist acts, and conducting activities that constituted planning for a terrorist act.

He was convicted of the following charges before the Supreme Court of Victoria this morning:

  • Collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist act, contrary to, Section 101.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
  • Other acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts, contrary to, Section 101.6 of the Criminal Code At 1995 (Cth).

The 36-year-old has been jailed for 12 years, with a non-parole period of nine years.

The Victorian JCTT comprises members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Victoria Police and Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation. The JCTT works to ensure the safety of the Victorian community by investigating people whose extremist views develop into the planning or facilitation of violent activities, which are criminal acts.

Victoria has well established and cooperative counter terrorism, emergency management and intelligence-sharing arrangements in place, and all agencies constantly monitor and assess their ability to respond to a range of incidents and emerging issues.

Police continue to encourage the public to report any suspicious activity they see or hear to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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