Australia arrests man over recruiting militants for Syria war

Australia arrests man over recruiting militants for Syria war
Tue Dec 3, 2013 14:24:35

Australian police has said an Aussie man has been charged over recruiting terrorists for an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria.

Hamdi Alqudsi, 39-year-old Sydney man, was charged on Tuesday over what Australian police said was an attempt to recruit militants for an al-Qaeda-linked group involved in the Syrian conflict.

Police believe Alqudsi is one of several Australians running sophisticated, expensive and illegal schemes to send young Australian men to Syria to fight with terrorists.

A 23-year-old man was also held on charges of preparing to join the al-Nusra Front terrorist group.

"Travelling offshore to be involved in armed conflicts and facilitating travel for others to do this are criminal offences," Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Drennan said.

He said the suspects were arrested in simultaneous searches of seven Sydney premises.

"Police will allege that six people were facilitated into Syria and one was stopped by Australian authorities from leaving the country," he added.

There are reports that hundreds of Australians, mostly of Lebanese descent, have travelled to Turkey and on to Syria to fight in the civil war.

In September, Australian officials announced at least 80 Australians are fighting along with the armed terrorist groups in Syria.

A report on the Australian daily “The Australian paper” said latest information indicate that counter-terrorism authorities in Australia have identified 70% of the Australians who are participating in killing the Syrians and destroying their infrastructure.

The paper affirmed that at least 4 Australian have been confirmed killed in Syria so far.

Australian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bob Carr said that the government was aware of reports that more than 100 Australians had joined the fighting in Syria since 2011.


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