A southeast Queensland man with suspected links to one of the world’s deadliest terror groups allegedly recruited others to fight in the Middle East.
A Queensland man allegedly recruited fighters from Brisbane for terror group Islamic State’s deadly campaign in Syria and Iraq.
Agim Kruezi, 21, from Logan, south of Brisbane, is in custody with 31-year-old Omar Succarieh after their arrest during a series of raids in the Brisbane region on Wednesday.
Although the federal police on Wednesday said neither man had any link to Islamic State, Queensland police allege the unemployed Kruezi recruited another person for the terrorist group in the past two months, and had earlier this year obtained funds to fight in Syria.
Islamic State is an extremist group based in Syria and Iraq fighting for control in the Middle East.
The Australian government’s list of terrorist organisations describes the group as one of the world’s deadliest and most active, whose members conduct daily attacks, target crowds and carry out public executions.
Succarieh, whose occupation is listed as driver, is charged with helping Kruezi obtain the money to fight overseas.
He’s also charged with fundraising for Syria-based extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra since August 2013.
Succarieh is believed to be the brother of Ahmed Succarieh, who reportedly became Australia’s first suicide bomber in Syria last year.
He and Kruezi were charged under Australia’s Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act, which makes it an offence to fight or train to fight for rebel groups overseas, or assist such groups.
Neither man spoke during brief, separate appearances in the dock of the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Defence lawyer Dan Rogers did not apply for bail and told reporters he was taking instructions from the men, whose cases were adjourned to October 17.
Both are linked to the iQraa Islamic Centre in Logan, which was one of the properties raided by about 180 officers of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Queensland Police early on Wednesday.
A sawn-off .22 calibre semi-automatic weapon and ammunition were allegedly found at Kruezi’s Logan home at Boronia Heights, and police also seized a crossbow and electronic records during the large-scale operation.
It followed a year-long investigation by the AFP, who gave assurances the men weren’t planning terrorist attacks in Australia.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the raids and arrests wouldn’t affect November’s G20 summit in Brisbane and warned strongly against any racist backlash against the state’s Muslim community.
“We’re not dealing with a religion here, it is about some people who happen to be using a religious angle on this whole thing to try and do that,” he said.
“That’s completely inappropriate, the Muslim community in this state have my full, total support.”