Young resident charged with terrorism related offences

FORTY-TWO year old Haisem Zahab from Cherry Vale Place, Young, was arrested and charged with a number of offences relating to terrorism last Tuesday. 

Mr Zahab did not apply for bail when he appeared before Young Local Court on Tuesday afternoon, and it was formally refused by magistrate Peter Dare. 

The 42-year-old Australian-born electrician has been charged with allegedly attempting to the research, design, and model a long-range missile and a guidance system for the missile and design a laser warning device for Islamic State.

Mr Dare said these charges carry life sentences. 

Mr Zahab will be held in custody before appearing in the Paramatta Local Court on Wednesday, March 8, via audio-visual link. 

The Commonwealth prosecutor Ms L Thompson would not confirm if the appearance via audio-visual link was for security reasons, only saying it was the instructions she had been given.

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the alleged advice provided by Zahab was "fairly sophisticated and well-planned".

"He was charged with a number of offences which include two serious foreign incursion offences under the Commonwealth Criminal Code, which carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment,” he said.

"With these offences, we will allege that he has utilised the internet to perform services for ISIL, activities in the Syria and Iraq conflict, from Australia in the following ways.

"Firstly, by researching and designing a laser warning device to help warn against incoming guided munitions used by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq. And secondly, we will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist ISIL's efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities."

Mr Colvin said the AFP will be alleging that the material that he was intending to provide to ISIL, and the research he was doing, was credible.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the AFP operation did not relate to any planned terrorist attack in Australia.

"This AFP operation highlights that terrorism, support for terrorist groups, and Islamist extremism is not limited to our major cities,” he said.