28 Feb 2017

Australian electrician accused of terrorism offences

7:10 pm on 28 February 2017

Australian police have arrested a 42-year-old man for alleged terrorism offences.

The trained electrician was arrested in the small town of Young, west of Canberra, in New South Wales.

Police said the man helped so-called Islamic State (IS) develop a laser warning device to help warn against incoming missiles. They said he was also helping IS design its own long-range guided missiles.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the arrest highlighted that terrorism and support for terrorist groups was not limited to major Australian cities.

Mr Turnbull said the arrest was not linked to any immediate terror threat.

"Police will allege that this individual, in a regional centre, acted with intent to provide ISIL [IS] with the ... technical capability, and high-tech capability, to detect and develop missiles," Mr Turnbull said.

The man is an Australian-born citizen. He was allegedly in contact with networks linked to the terrorist group.

NSW Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the man's research was "fairly sophisticated".

The man was to appear in the Young Local Court charged with terrorism offences.