Sydney – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of an Australian man who tried to help the extremist militia organisation Islamic State develop high-tech laser and missile capabilities.
Turnbull said the 42-year-old man was arrested in the town of Young in the state of New South Wales on terrorism offences, but that he had not been involved in planning any attack in Australia.
“Police will allege that this individual, in a regional centre, acted with intent to provide ISIL (Islamic State) with the capability, with the technical capability, and high-tech capability, to detect and develop missiles,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
Australian federal police commissioner Andrew Colvin said the man, a trained electrician, used the internet to provide services to Islamic State to help research and design laser warning technology and systems to develop long-range guided missile capabilities.
“He was technically trained as an electrician with no direct knowledge of laser technology,” Colvin told reporters, alongside Turnbull, adding the arrest was part of an 18-month long operation.
He said the “Australia-born Australian” had networks and contacts in Islamic State, “not just in the conflict zones but also in other parts of the world and relied on them to pass the information.”
Colvin said that police will charge the man on Tuesday afternoon with multiple terror-related offences, including two foreign incursion offences that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. (dpa/NAN)