NSW police have said there is a strong suspicion that the 15-year-old Parramatta shooter, Farhad Jabar, did not carry out Friday’s fatal attack alone.
NSW deputy commissioner Catherine Burn revealed the five men arrested in terror raids in Sydney’s west on Wednesday are suspected of having some knowledge of Friday’s fatal Parramatta shooting.
“We definitely have our suspicion he [Jabar] did not act alone,” Ms Burns said.
“We know some of the people we are now interested in are people that have come under notice previously in relation to Operation Appleby.
“It’s a very, very serious concern that in the heart of our community, there is attack planning that is underway and that may have led to what we saw on Friday.
“For 24 hours, seven days a week, people go and do certain things and it’s a reality of life we can’t be everywhere with everybody at every single second of the day.”
On Friday, Jabar gunned down police worker Curtis Cheng out the front of Parramatta’s police headquarters.
Jabar was shot dead by police soon after. It has been reported Jabar visited a nearby mosque on his way to the alleged attack.
Ms Burn said Jabar was not known to police.
“The 15-year-old deceased has not been a target of ours and is not somebody we would have assessed as a threat,” Ms Burn said.
However, some of those arrested on Wednesday morning were.
Raban Alou, 18, was arrested at Lane Street, Wentworthville, the same home where his older brother Kawa was arrested in sweeping raids in September last year and released without charge.
Police also arrested a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named and who was in the same year at Arthur Phillip High School as Jabar.
At Marsfield, police arrested another target of the September 2014 raids, 22-year-old Mustafa Dirani, who is a former student of Arthur Phillip High.
Ms Burns said NSW police still had no clear idea about the motives for the attack.
NSW Premier Mike Baird gave assurances that the government was doing everything it could to combat terrorism.
“I have said that this is a terrorist incident. There’s no doubt about it,” Mr Baird said.
“We have to ensure that we don’t see incidents like this again and we’re doing everything we possibly can to ensure that.
“We need to understand that we are in a new world.
“The threats that are emerging are new. We have to adapt to them. We have to respond and we will. But certainly my strong assurance to the people of NSW is that our schools are safe.”
Speaking to Sky News earlier on Wednesday, Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said terrorism is “an ever present threat in Australia at the moment”.
“They [IS] have a very sophisticated social media operation that does that,” Mr Keenan said.
“They encourage Australians to, in the first instance, join them [IS] in the fight in the Middle East. If Australians can’t do that, they encourage them to commit terror acts here at home.
“What we can also do that is powerful is work with the community to make sure people in the community are on our side helping us with this challenge.”
– with ABC