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Published On: Fri, Sep 19th, 2014

Mohammad Ali Baryalei, Omarjan Azari named as top ISIS agents in Aussie bust, most detainees released

Australian counterterrorism forces detained 15 people Thursday in a series of suburban raids after receiving intelligence that the Islamic State militant group was planning public beheadings in two Australian cities to demonstrate its reach and infiltration.

About 800 federal and state police officers raided more than a dozen properties across 12 Sydney suburbs as part of the operation, the largest in Australian history, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the Associated Press. Raids in Brisbane and Logan were also conducted.

A sword was removed as part of evidence at one of the homes.

Mohammad Ali Baryalei phto/YouTube

Mohammad Ali Baryalei phto/YouTube

The Sunni Muslim extremists planned on kidnapping random citizens from the streets of Sydney and Brisbane and then behead them on camera and dispense the video as part of the ISIS propaganda machine.

Omarjan Azari, 22, was charged in court late Thursday and Australia’s top ISIS member, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, was listed as a “co-conspirator” in the court documents. Police were still seeking Baryalei, 33, at the time of this writing.

Attorney General George Brandis confirmed that a person born in Afghanistan who had spent time in Australia and is now working with the Islamic State group in the Middle East ordered supporters in Australia to behead people and videotape the killings.

“If the … police had not acted today, there is a likelihood that this would have happened,” Brandis told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late Thursday.

Prosecutor Michael Allnutt said Azari and Baryalei were involved in a “plan to commit extremely serious offenses” that was “clearly designed to shock and horrify” the public. It is not immediately clear what sentence Azari faces if convicted. The accused did not apply for bail and did not enter a plea. His next court appearance was set for November 13.

Azari’s attorney, Steve Boland, said during the hearing that the allegation against his client was based “on one phone call.” He did not speak to reporters outside court.

Dozens of police spent Thursday searching Azari’s home and a car parked across the street from his house. One officer pulled a memo out of the car from the Australian National Imams Council outlining concerns about Australia’s new anti-terrorism proposals.

A second man was charged Thursday night in connection with the raids. The 24-year-old, who police didn’t name, was charged with possessing ammunition without license and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon. He was released on bail and ordered to appear in court next week.

Nine of those detained were later released, New South Wales police said.

Uthman Badar, a spokesman for the Islamist group Hizt ut-Tahrir, warned of a growing unrest within Australia’s Muslim community.

“We are tired of being made scapegoats. The government is the terrorist,” he said in front of supporters wearing anti-government placards, according to News.com.au.

“We would be fools to think we can now wake up and feel safer,” he added. “We are not fools to be deceived. There is anger in the community. We have been victimized for years and years.”

“Police believe that this group that we have executed this operation on today had the intention and had started to carry out planning to commit violent acts here in Australia,” Colvin said. “Those violent acts particularly related to random acts against members of the public. So what we saw today and the operation that continues was very much about police disrupting the potential for violence against the Australian community at the earliest possible opportunity.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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