News World Alleged Anzac terror plot suspect denied bail

Alleged Anzac terror plot suspect denied bail

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A Narre Warren man charged with further offences in relation to an alleged planned terrorist attack on an Anzac Day ceremony in Melbourne has been denied bail.

Mehran Azami, 19, was charged with 19 offences related to the importation of knives, tasers and knuckle dusters, on top of weapons offences laid following counter-terror raids in Melbourne on April 18.

The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court
 heard that prosecutors opposed bail, saying he was a flight risk and a risk to the public.

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Defence lawyer Charlie Atlas told the court Azami was mentally ill, and not a criminal mastermind.

“We don’t have an Al Capone or Osama bin Laden here,” he told the court.

He said police broke a promise to Azami, who the court earlier heard had been arrested while a voluntary patient at a mental health facility, by raiding his home.

He said there had been an agreement Azami would voluntarily attend an interview.

“We made an agreement, he wasn’t going anywhere,” Mr Atlas said.

“Approximately 12 months ago he threw himself off a bridge. This is not just a plot to get out of these charges.”

Azami was denied bail.

The magistrate said he would make a note it was a high profile case, after Mr Atlas raised concerns for Azami’s safety.

Meanwhile, two other men charged with conspiring to commit an act of terrorism in Melbourne remain in custody after their applications for release were delayed on Thursday.

The application of Sevdet Ramdan Besim, 18, of Hallam, was withdrawn until further notice, while Harun Causevic, 18, of Hampton Park, will apply for bail on Tuesday

Both teenagers, who were due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, are in custody after being charged with conspiring to commit an act of terrorism following police raids on April 18.

The pair were arrested with three others when police swooped after a tip-off about alleged plans for attacks against officers at Anzac Day services around Melbourne.

Weapons, including swords, knives and a gun, were seized in the joint counter-terrorism operation by Victoria Police and the AFP, who had been monitoring the group since March.

Police say the men were linked to Numan Haider, a Melbourne teenager who was shot dead during a knife attack on police last year.

Besim was charged just hours after his arrest, while Causevic was initially held on a preventative detention order.

A Supreme Court hearing on formally lifting the order after Causevic was charged heard that he and Besim had been in contact with a teenager in the UK.

The 14-year-old British boy, who cannot be named, has been charged with inciting a beheading and inciting a terrorist attack in Australia.

Two other men were released after the Melbourne raids pending further investigation.

Security at Anzac Day events around the state was tripled in the wake of the threats.

Operation Rising is a joint counter-terrorism team operation which has resulted in the execution of seven search warrants in the South Eastern Metropolitan police area, in the Victorian suburbs of Narre Warren, Hampton Park, Hallam and Eumemmerring on April 18.

Victoria Police reminded residents that the national security threat level is classified as high, and the community should continue to go about their daily business and report any suspicious activity by phoning triple 000, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00.

Anyone seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

– with ABC

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