A Sydney man has been charged with foreign incursion offences for allegedly travelling to the Syrian war zone to fight.
The 25-year-old was arrested on Tuesday morning in a raid of his Mount Lewis home in Sydney’s south-west.
The man allegedly travelled to the Syrian conflict zone in March 2015, and returned seven months later.
He has since been subject to ongoing investigations, the AFP and NSW Police said in a statement on Tuesday evening.
He is understood to be the first Australian-based person to be charged with the foreign fighter offence, and faces life imprisonment if found guilty.
The man has also been charged with entering/remaining in a “declared area”, which faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. He also allegedly dealt with the proceeds of a crime worth $1 million or more.
NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said there was no current or impending threat to the community related to the raid.
“The public can be reassured that all law enforcement agencies, at state and national level, work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the community.”
AFP acting Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Hurst said the arrest was the culmination of long-term surveillance, intelligence, and protracted evidence-gathering.
“This has been a long and pain staking process, putting the pieces of the puzzle together to turn intelligence into evidence.”
Members of the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team, which includes the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, state and federal police, were involved in the operation.
Police say Tuesday’s operation was part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering which had already led to three arrests earlier in the year.
A Bass Hill man, who was arrested as part of the investigation and charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime in October, was on Tuesday charged with a range of other offences.
The 26-year-old was charged with a variety of drug offences, including possession of a tablet press as well as possession of tampered identifications and stolen property.
Both men are due to appear before Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday.