SYDNEY, Jan 29, 2016:
Police have raided two Melbourne homes in counter-terrorism operations, with reports on Friday linking them to an Australian man who appeared in a slick Islamic State propaganda video last year.
The properties in the northern Melbourne suburbs of Craigieburn and Meadow Heights were raided on Thursday, the Australian Federal Police confirmed on Friday without giving further details as it was an “ongoing investigation”.
They belonged to the former wives of Mohomed Unais Mohomed Ameen, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, adding that he had appeared in a propaganda video promoting IS’s “health service” in Syria.
The 41-year-old — who was born in Sri Lanka according to the ABC — had reportedly claimed to be working in physiotherapy at an IS-run hospital and appeared on screen beside another Australian, Tareq Kamleh, in the footage uploaded to YouTube in April.
The raids by the Victorian joint counter-terrorism team came as Melbourne court documents reportedly alleged that an Australian teenager facing terror charges discussed stuffing a kangaroo with explosives, painting it with the Islamic State group symbol and setting it loose on police.
The 19-year-old, Sevdet Besim, who on Thursday pleaded not guilty to four charges related to planning an attack last year, is due back in court next week.
The police operations are part of Australia’s crackdown on nationals they fear are linked to home-grown extremism.
Canberra raised the terror threat alert level to high in September 2014, with the government passing a series of national security laws and police conducting numerous raids across the country.