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Sri Lanka Phd student , 25, charged with terrorism-related offenses

A Sri Lankan man with alleged links to ISIS has been charged with terrorism-related offences in Sydney after a hit list was uncovered.

University staffer Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested at UNSW’s Kensington campus, in Sydney’s south east, about 2pm on Thursday.

NSW Police allegedly found documents ‘containing plans to facilitate terrorism attacks’ and a notebook that named a number of locations and individuals as ‘potential targets’.

‘From the documentation, we believe he would affiliate with ISIS,’ Detecting Superintendent Mick Sheehy said.

Officers were reportedly alerted to the threat after a member of staff found the notebook and handed it in to the police.

After the notebook was found, police executed a search warrant at his home on Defries Avenue, Zetland, about 2am on Friday.

Police allege a number of electronic items were seized from Nizamdeen’s home for further examination.

Australian Federal Police detective superintendent Michael McTiernan said the charges laid against Nizamdeen were ‘serious and significant’.

‘At this stage there is a number of locations and individuals named in that document who are potential targets,’ he told reporters on Friday.

‘They are symbolic locations within Sydney.

‘It is quite a significant document which requires further analysis.’

‘We have both psychologists and investigators looking at that document to try to interpret the intent and capability, but that is in essence the offence that is before the court.’

Nizamdeen, who is in Australia on a student visa, was employed as a contractor at the University of NSW and has allegedly travelled back to Sri Lanka and ‘other areas’.

Police said he was not previously known to police and did not have any criminal history in Australia.

The 25-year-old was taken back to Maroubra Police Station where he was charged with ‘collecting or making a document connected with the preparation for, engagement of, or assistance in a terrorist act’.

Nizamdeen was refused bail to appear at Waverley Local Court on Friday, where the matter was adjourned for eight weeks.

Nizamdeen is due to appear at Central Local Court on October 24.

Police said Nizamdeen’s student visa was due to expire in Australia but he was in the process of applying for another one when he was arrested.

Authorities insist there was no ongoing threat to the community following the arrest.

Anyone with information has been urged to come forward and report what they know to the police.  

In a statement issued on Friday, UNSW said the university referred ‘a serious matter involving a member of staff to NSW police’.

The university confirmed the staffer was arrested and charged for the planning of a terrorist offence.

‘We will continue to assist police with their investigations and to act on the advice of NSW police,’ it said.

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