RT / Counter-terrorism units in the Australian state of Victoria arrested a man on suspicion of planning a terrorist act. The man was also found to have links to far-right Australian organizations opposed to Islam and Asian immigrants. Philip Galea, 31, from Baybrook, is facing charges of collecting and making documents that would likely facilitate a terrorist act, the Australian Associated Press reported. It has not been clarified exactly what the plan was, but the police says the danger has been averted.
Galea appeared at the Magistrate’s Court on Sunday, claiming he would “be fighting the charges and I believe they are [is] a conspiracy against the patriot movement.” He did not apply for bail, and will be remanded in custody until the next hearing, scheduled for August 9.
Read more Australia steps closer to Guantanamo-like indefinite detention for terrorists Galea is believed to have links to Reclaim Australia and the True Blue Crew. However, Reclaim Australia stated in a Facebook post that there was no relationship between them. The organization also says it “always denounced violence.”
Police searched Galea’s home and said he had “a number of affiliations,” while adding that they found links to the two far-right groups.
The Melbourne raids were based on an “escalating threat” to the community, police said, while four homes were also searched on Saturday.
“The threat was specific enough to cause alarm in terms of the risk it would cause the community,” counter-terrorism command assistant commissioner Ross Guenther told the AAP, though he added that no other arrests are expected in the case.
Guenther mentioned that tip-offs from a national security hotline helped the joint investigation between the Victoria and federal police.