Counter-terrorism Police Seize Items From Property In Sydney’s South-West

August 22nd, 2016

State and federal counter-terrorism police have raided a property at Heckenberg in Sydney’s south-west as part of an investigation into the financing of terrorism overseas.

Officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and New South Wales Police removed a number of items from the house on Tantangara Street.

The ABC understands the investigation is focusing on brothers Mohamed and Hazem Zuhbi, who are believed to be supporters of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

Mohamed Zuhbi has previously been under Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) scrutiny after travelling to Syria and his bank accounts were frozen earlier this year.

The FBI in the United States has accused Mr Zuhbi of being a middleman for IS and recruiting people to fight for them in Syria.

The father of the brothers, Baraa Zuhbi, also had his home searched today and was seen arriving at the Heckenberg property this afternoon.

Police officer getting into a car in front of a property raided by counter-terrorism police.

An unidentified man arrives at a house that was raided by counter-terrorism police today.

Mohamed Zuhbi has previously told the ABC in an interview with PM that he was not a spokesman for Islamic State and that he had travelled to Syria to do humanitarian work.

The AFP-led search is part of an information-gathering exercise into the financing of terrorism overseas and police do not expect to make any arrests or lay any charges today, the ABC understands.

AFP officers carried out black garbage bags of evidence during the search, which started at 7:00am this morning.

Police have now left the property, but said the investigation was ongoing.

Australian Federal Police officers raiding a Heckenberg house, in south western Sydney.

The investigation is new and an AFP spokesman confirmed that members of the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team were conducting “operational activity” at the residence.

The spokesman said the allegations did not relate to any threat against the general public.

AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin has refused to confirm any other details about the raid.

“[The raid] was just part of an ongoing operation, investigation that we’ve got in Sydney,” Commissioner Colvin said.

“Like all of our counter terrorism investigations they tend to roll on.

“This is another one of those, this investigation … it’s not a threat to the public, it relates to terrorism financing and while it’s ongoing I’ll confine my comments to that.”

Neighbour Jamee-Lee Azzopardi said police had been coming in and out of the house all morning.

Jamee-Lee Azzopardi telling journalists about a police raid on a house near her.

“It looks like on the door it’s been broken in or forced,” she said.

Ms Azzopardi said it was concerning that the search had to do with terrorism.

“It’s scary, but you don’t really know the facts, until you actually hear it, so not jumping to any conclusions.”

She said a young family with three preschool or primary school-aged children rented the house, but she had not seen the husband in many months.

“He hasn’t been here in months, I mean months … we don’t know where he is,” she said.

“They’re pretty quiet, they keep to themselves, they wave every now and then. The wife usually comes and drops off the kids, she’s always looking after the kids, there’s no-one else.”

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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