Ahmed Talib, 31, from Melbourne, and Gabriel Crazzi, 34, from Brisbane, allegedly played “senior roles” in a south-east Queensland-based syndicate, which maintained a “religiously motivated violent extremist ideology and a desire to travel to Syria to engage in hostile activities”.
Police allege Mr Talib, a gemstone trader from Doncaster East, used his family business to move money for terrorists, including Australia’s first suicide bomber.
In 2013, the network allegedly funded Australia’s first suicide bomber, Ahmed Succarieh, who killed 35 people at a military checkpoint in Syria.
The Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT), with assistance from the Victoria JCTT, arrested the two men yesterday.
Mr Talib’s Doncaster East home was raided in front of his wife and young children.
While a property in Chambers Flat, south of Brisbane, was also swooped on by police.
“We seized $80,000 in cash, a number of gemstones of high-value, also various electronic devices that we will examine over the next period,” AFP Commander Stephen Dametto from the Counter-Terrorism and Special Investigations Command said.
Police allege the two men developed networks in Australia, Turkey and Syria that were used by Australian foreign terrorist fighters to enter Syria, in order to join terrorist organisations, including Jabhat al-Nusra, and engage in “hostile activities” against Syrian government forces.
Mr Crazzi, a Queensland dog trainer from Logan, south of Brisbane, has been hit with charges including one count of incursions into foreign states with the intention of engaging in hostile activities, as well as one count of engaging in a hostile activity in a foreign state.
The maximum penalty for these offences is 20 years in jail.
The 34-year-old has also been charged with four counts of preparations for foreign incursions into foreign states for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.
He is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates’ Court today.
Mr Talib has been charged with one count of preparations for foreign incursions into foreign states for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.
The maximum penalty if convicted is 10 years’ imprisonment.
He appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday and is facing extradition to Queensland.
The AFP said the arrests were almost a decade in the making.
Commander Dametto today said more people may be arrested in future, but reassured the public there was no “imminent threat” to the community.
“We believe there could be up to seven individuals, some are overseas,” he said.
“Today is an example of our commitment to discourage Australians from fighting overseas and holding people to account for their involvement in supporting terrorism and terrorist organisations.”
Mr Talib had also been “designated by the US government” in regards to financial sanctions by their Department of Treasury for material support to Al-Qaeda, Commander Dametto said.
“I want to make clear that us and our partners take all extremist groups seriously,” he said.
“We target the criminality regardless of the background of the perpetrators … we do not target ideology or the background of individuals.”