Three Arrested In Sydney ISIS Terror Raids

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SYDNEY - Australian counter-terror police said they arrested three men during raids in suburban Sydney on Tuesday as part of an investigation into domestic Islamic State sympathizers.

"I want to say they don't represent the Islamic faith".

Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said the 20-year-old man from the Sydney suburb of Greenacre had been monitored for the past 12 months since returning to Australia from Lebanon.

"He had undertaken a number of active steps - obtaining visas, purchasing airline tickets, he had planned to purchase a firearm once he arrived in Afghanistan and obviously through these activities he'd sworn allegiance to IS", he said.

Police and detectives raided six homes this morning.

One of the trio is Isaak el Matari, 20, who a year ago was released from jail in Lebanon where he was detained accused of planning to go fight with ISIS in Syria.

Six raids were conducted at Canada Bay, Chester Hill, Greenacre, Green Valley, Ingleburn and Toongabbie.

"There are still those within the community who wish us harm and the community of Australia harm", said McCartney.

The three men will likely be charged later on Tuesday.

The commissioner said the men will be charged with a number of "serious offenses" ranging from being a member of a terrorist organization, planning a terror attack, and preparations to enter a foreign country with the intent of hostile activities. In addition to the Sydney plot, the 20-year-old planned to travel to Afghanistan to fight there for Islamic State, and the 23-year-old was prominent among extremists online globally. The others face sentences as long as 10 years.

The plot was the 16th major terrorist attack to be thwarted by police in Australia since the threat level was raised in September 2014, Mr McCartney said.

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