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NSW man charged with terrorism offences

NSW terrorism offences
A NSW man from Tamworth has been charged with advocating terrorism and inciting violence. Photo: AAP
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A NSW man has been charged with terrorism offences, accused of posting nationalist, racist and extremist violent messages online.

The 37-year-old from Tamworth in the New England district is also accused of advocating violence against several Australian political leaders.

He was arrested at his home on Tuesday by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team, accused of urging violence and advocating terrorism.

The man appeared at Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday after an investigation into his online posts.

He was refused bail to reappear in Parramatta Local Court on December 10.

It will be alleged in court that the man regularly posted on social media messages urging force or violence against groups of people, which he identified by race, political viewpoints and occupation.

The counter terror squad began a formal investigation into the man’s activities in September after investigators identified potential criminal offences in multiple posts on social media and communication channels.

Investigators raided his Tamworth home and two semi-rural blocks in the area during the past two days.

Police seized a number of electronic devices and a variety of handwritten and printed material, which will be the subject of further forensic analysis.

He was charged with one count of urging violence against members or groups and one count of advocating terrorism. Each offence carries a maximum penalty of five years jail.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Scott Lee said there was sufficient concern that the man’s messages online might inspire other people to commit violent acts.

“This man’s quantity of messages on online forums was of similar concern to the actual content of the messages – resulting in the very real fear that it would inspire someone to commit a violent or terrorist act,” he said.

NSW Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said investigators were acutely aware of how the online environment could be exploited to spread extremist views and incite violence.

“The NSW JCTT monitors these activities and rhetoric as part of the commitment to protecting the people of NSW from those who seek to do us harm,” he said.

The NSW JCTT is comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission.

Police said there is no ongoing threat to the community in relation to the investigation.