Terror suspect’s plan to escape and join IS spoiled

Five would-be terrorists have been taken into custody by Australian police after allegedly hatching a plan to sail from Australia to Indonesia, and then join Islamic State (IS).


Reports on Wednesday claimed the men, all under the age of 30, journeyed all the way from the Victorian capital of Melbourne, in Australia’s south, before the Australian Federal Police (AFP) swooped on the group in the north Queensland city of Cairns.

The crew, all of whom were being monitored by police prior to their arrest on Tuesday, supposedly planned to launch their ‘tinny’ boat from Cape York, on the northern tip of Australia, and anchor somewhere in Indonesia.

But the AFP intercepted the five men, fearing they would come to harm at sea.

Cape York lies around 2,500 kilometers away from the Indonesian mainland, and the journey — if the police hadn’t have stepped in — would have taken the group several days to complete.

Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton said detectives believed the group planned to travel to Indonesia before flying to Syria to take up arms.

“This is a serious attempt by five men who were of a security interest, who had their passport cancelled, in attempting to exit Australia so they can make their way by boat and to possibly end up in Syria,” Patton said in comments published by News Corp on Wednesday.

Under federal law, police have the power to stop people flying abroad if they suspect an individual is seeking to join the fight for or against IS in Syria and Iraq.

No charges have yet been laid against the five men in question.

“The Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police can confirm they conducted operational activity in relation to an ongoing investigation in the north of Queensland,” an AFP spokesperson said.

“This activity is not related to a current or impending threat to the community.”

“As this activity remains ongoing, further comment will be provided when it is appropriate to do so.”

The group will be sent back to Melbourne on Wednesday, according to reports.

It is understood the trip up the east coast of Australia took an excessive amount of time as the aging car struggled towing the boat and passengers inside.

The car and boat have been impounded and will be forensically inspected over the course of the police investigation. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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