A young man charged with financing terrorism had been of interest to authorities “for some time”, police said.
A 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old man were arrested at Guildford in western Sydney on Tuesday on suspicion of financing the Islamic State terror group.
The man, Milad Atai, was later charged and did not attend the courtroom when his case was called at Parramatta Local Court.
His lawyer did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. He will appear at Central Local Court on Wednesday.
The girl was still being questioned by police on Tuesday afternoon and charges were yet to be laid.
NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said the pair knew each other and the girl attended school, but couldn’t say if the pair went to the same high school. She said the charges were serious.
“It carries a maximum imprisonment of 25 years,” she told reporters.
“The 20-year-old man is somebody we have had an interest in for some time.
Deputy Commissioner Burn said she would not be revealing the specific amount of money that had been sent overseas to allegedly fund the terror organisation nor how the money was raised.
“Those matters will come out at court but we do continue to investigate the transfer of money offshore,” she said.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan described the operation as “ongoing and complex”.
“We’ve taken proactive action on some charges so it doesn’t lead to something further down the track,” he said.
“The 16-year-old girl is not somebody who is well known to us. The disturbing trend is of seeing teenagers being involved in activities they should not be involved in.”
Operation Appleby is an ongoing joint operation between the AFP and NSW Police investigating domestic acts of terrorism, foreign incursions into Syria and Iraq and the funding of terrorist organisations.
In January, Sameh Bayda, 18, of Guildford was also arrested by the same counter-terrorism team and charged with three counts of collecting documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts.
His wife, Alo-Bridget Namoa, 18, was arrested in relation to an ongoing investigation into terror-related activities and was allegedly found in possession of a knife.
There have been a series of police raids since the biggest counter-terrorism raids in Australia’s history were carried out in September 2014.
– with AAP and ABC