Man charged with planning Australian terror attack

AP News
Posted: Oct 17, 2014 12:12 AM

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A man charged in an Australian court with supporting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria faced a fresh accusation Friday of planning a terrorist attack in Australia.

Agim Kruezi, 21, and Omar Succarieh, 31, have been in custody since Sept. 10 when they were arrested in a series of police raids in the Queensland state capital, Brisbane, and neighboring Logan that culminated a yearlong counterterrorism investigation.

Police said on the day of the raids that they had found no evidence of a domestic terrorist threat.

But Kruezi was charged in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday with offenses including transporting a firearm and possessing machetes, knives, balaclavas and military fatigues in preparation for a terrorist act.

The court heard no details of the alleged attack plan.

Kruezi, an unemployed resident of Logan, and Succarieh, a driver from Brisbane, were charged last month with making preparations and raising funds for incursions into Syria and Iraq with intentions of engaging in hostile activity.

Succarieh was also charged with providing funds to al-Qaida offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front. Kruezi was additionally charged with recruiting jihadists to join the Islamic State movement to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Both appeared in court Friday, along with a third alleged extremist Louis Maestracci, who is charged with dealing with money that could have been used to fund terrorist operatives overseas. Maestracci, 32, of Logan, is free on bail.

Magistrate John McGrath adjourned charges against all three until Dec. 19. None has entered a plea.

Prosecutor Shane Hunter requested the lengthy adjournment because federal police who needed to compile evidence would be busy providing security for the Group of 20 annual summit of world leaders to be held in Brisbane on Nov. 15-16.

Kruezi and Succarieh face potential life prison sentences if convicted. Maestracci's potential maximum sentence was not immediately clear.