A 25-year-old Sri-Lankan named M. Nizamdeen was arrested over suspected terror-related offences in Australia.
The Australian law enforcement authorities said he was in Sydney on a student visa, and was arrested after finding “symbolic locations within Sydney” listed as possible targets in his notebook
Officers from NSW’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) arrested Mohamed Nizamdeen at Kensington, in Sydney’s south-east.
The University of New South Wales contractor appeared in Waverley Local Court today where he was refused bail, with the matter adjourned to October 24.
Nizamdeen is in Australia on a student visa, and police will allege they found documents containing plans to facilitate terrorism attacks on the university campus.
Police searched a unit on Defries Avenue in Zetland about 2:00am today, where they seized several electronic items. They are currently searching his workplace.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) detective superintendent Michael McTiernan said the charges were “serious and significant”.
“It is quite a significant document which requires further analysis,” he said.
Police allege Nizamdeen was acting on his own, and despite telling a media conference he appeared to be an Islamic State affiliate, they have not charged him with being a member of a terrorist organisation.
Nizamdeen was working is a business systems analyst in UNSW’s IT department, including working on a project to help students better understand cyber security.
NSW Police detective acting superintendent Michael Sheehy said investigations were in their infancy.
“At this stage, there [are] no concerns for public safety,” he said.
“This is clearly an offence in relation to the preparation of a document. It is not an offence in relation to capability of this individual.”
The JCTT comprises officers from the AFP, NSW Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.
Police said Nizamdeen’s visa was to expire in September, and that he was in the process of applying for another one.