Friday, December 26, 2014

Police seize rifle and shotguns in terrorism raids and charge man who wore ISIS flag on national TV over 'plotting terror attack on government target and guerrilla warfare in the Blue Mountains'

Young people can be very foolish in their quest for excitement

A man who stormed off the set of a television program while wearing an Islamic State symbol is behind bars after he was charged with possessing documents listing potential targets for a terrorist attack.

Sulayman Khalid, 20, from Regents Park in Sydney's west, was formally refused bail in Parramatta Local Court today after he and a 21-year-old Marsfield man were arrested in counter-terrorism raids overnight.

The Marsfield man, who cannot be named, was charged with breaching a Control Order. He refused bail after a magistrate deemed him an 'unacceptable risk to the community'.

It is also alleged he had plans to carry out guerrilla warfare in the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The arrests followed raids around 1.30pm last Thursday where police seized a large number of documents outlining possible Federal and State government targets, a rifle and two shotguns.

Deputy NSW Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said the men were arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into an apparent ring of 15 to 20 people.  She said 11 people have been charged so far under the counter-terrorism operation, known by the codename Appleby.  The same investigation conducted the largest raids in the nation's history on September 18, which involved more than 800 NSW and Federal Police.  

AFP Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan told reporters the men shared the 'ideology' of the Islamic State terror group.  'It is a group of people here in Sydney who we've been actively monitoring for a long time,' he said. 'Certainly their ideology is linked to [Islamic State].'

Adam Houda, Khalid's lawyer, told Daily Mail Australia his client has been charged with a very serious offence. 'But I want to remind you that the authorities have got it wrong in the past many times,' Mr Houda said. 'I ask that the court process be respected and for this matter to be determined on the evidence and not by politicians and the media.'

Under the name Abu Bakr, Khalid appeared on the SBS program Insight earlier this year for a forum about the Federal government's cancellation of terror suspect's passports. The part-time labourer had his passport suspended last December.

He stormed off the set after facing a grilling over his support for the Islamic State terror group.

In a separate hearing, prosecutors alleged today that the Marsfield man breached the conditions of his control order by using a public telephone and a mobile phone which did not belong to him in the space of an hour on Monday evening.

His lawyer, Arjun Chhabra, told the court the mobile belonged to his mother and said his age should be taken into consideration.

Today's arrests follow an extraordinary pre-Christmas message from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, where he warned a terrorist attack remains 'likely'.  'The briefing from the security agencies today indicated there has been a heightened level of terrorist chatter in the aftermath of the Martin Place siege,' he said.


The Australian who makes videos for terrorists: Sydney engineering student reveals he quit university to join the ISIS media team in Syria - where he dreams of being killed by an airstrike

They are a trademark of the Islamic State terror group. Slickly produced propaganda videos, filmed with high definition cameras.  Now it has been revealed that an Australian university student is behind many of the packages broadcast around the world, which often feature barbaric threats to Westerners.

In an interview with The Australian newspaper, an unnamed former electrical engineering student from Sydney said he had witnessed beheadings during his time working for the Islamic State.

But he described his life as fairly typical. 'I have a job, I live in a HQ, eat, sleep, work, hope an airstrike gets me so I can be Shaheed (martyred). Pretty typical life,' he told the newspaper.

The man was quoted saying video editing was 'kind of a hobby at first back in Australia... mostly cheap little film effects.' He stopped when he attended university, but it became a valuable skill working for the militant group in the Middle East.

The young man is one of more than 70 Australians who have left for the Middle East to fight for the militant organisation.

Many wannabe militants have failed to make it over there, with the Federal government cancelling more than 100 passports.

One Australian militant who featured in the group's videos, so-called 'Ginger Jihadi' Abdullah Elmir, 17, declared in a propaganda broadcast in October that Islamic State would not rest until 'the black flag is flying high across every land'.

The teenager vanished in June, reportedly telling his mother he was 'going fishing' - only to turn up in the propaganda video months later, surrounding by Islamic State fighters chanting loudly.

Professor Greg Barton, a terrorism expert from Monash University, told Daily Mail Australia it was 'quite chilling' to think many Australians living relatively ordinary lives had joined the terrorist group.  'It's all abstract, until the kid in the next suburb over is involved in doing that,' he said. 

Prof Barton said there has been no indication the number of citizens heading to Syria or Iraq has slowed recently.

Four brothers from a western Sydney family vanished in November after telling family they were going on a trip to Thailand. They sent a text message to their sister saying: 'we will see you in Paradise.'

Acclaimed German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer, who recently spent 10 days embedded with the terror group in Mosul and Syria, said he was surprised by the hundreds of foreign fighters who have arrived from all over the world. In a detailed post on his Facebook site this wek, Todenhöfer wrote: 'The West underestimated the risk posed by IS dramatically. 'The IS fighters are much smarter and more dangerous than our leaders believe. 'In the Islamic State, there is an almost palpable enthusiasm and confidence of victory, which I have not seen in many war zones.'

Prime Minister Tony Abbott this week warned security agencies have picked up 'heightened terrorist chatter' since last week's siege at the Lindt cafe in Martin Place. 


Darwin chilli sauce cops heat for calling Tony Abbott 'an idiot' in the fine print on its bottle

A chilli sauce company has been under attack on social media after labelling prime minister Tony Abbott an 'idiot' on their product.

Darwin Chilli Co has triggered an online storm after a photograph of a 'Darwin Hot Sauce' bottle label was shared across Twitter and Facebook, which also drove the company's Facebook page to 72,000 percent in traffic.

The label reads: 'Darwin hot sauce (sriracha style) is what it is. We are sorry that our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is an idiot. Heat level: Cat3.'

The family-owned business started the labels shortly before Abbott was elected prime minister around September 2014.

The company owner, who wished to not be named, told Daily Mail Australia the idea came to light from an 'old school labelling joke that started in France from the 1980s'.  'A french clothing company wrote under their washing instructions that they were sorry that their president was an idiot. It's funny and I've always remembered that.

'When I was making my labels, I remember hearing Tony Abbott's name everywhere so I made the first label as "Don't vote for Tony Abbott, he's an idiot", he said.  'But then he got elected so we had to apologise in the labels for our next batch of chilli sauces.'

He said the label is 'just a bit of a joke' and 'nearly everyone gets it' but it has offended a few over social media and has attracted a significant amount of 'internet trolls'. 'The negative comments don't bother us - it's just a sense of humour and we think it's hilarious.

'No one cares except the internet trolls who go on our page and give us one star ratings and abuse.  'But the negative stuff has actually kicked off our business and everybody is behind us. We couldn't be prouder. We started off defending ourselves but we've had so many nice people supporting us.  'We even had to shut down our official website because we ran out of stock.'

The family from Darwin has been making chilli sauces for the past five years. 'Our main focus is let our sauces do all the talking. It's 100 percent Australian made and every ingredient, down to the garlic is all from Australia.

Despite the negative backlash on social media, the owner said the company will continue to run their 'Tony Abbott' labels.  'By popular demand, our Tony Abbott labelled sauce will be available for backorder,' he said.


South Australia: Payments slashed for solar homes that feed electricity into grid

THE once-generous payments householders received for their solar power will be scaled back to a 5.3c per kilowatt hour from the start of next year.  This equates to a return of about $540 per year from a 6kW system which is large enough to power most homes.

But if you installed the same sized system before October 2011 you would potentially be pulling in $4836 per year.  Those payments will continue until June 30, 2028.

The retailer feed-in tariff, which must be paid by your energy provider, was set at 7.6c/kWh last year but fell to 6c once the carbon price was removed.

The Essential Services Commission of South Australia has further reduced it to 5.3c/kWh because it “reflects the forecast wholesale market value of photovoltaic (solar) electricity in the coming year’’.

“The proposed value is lower than the 2014 retailer feed-in tariff of 6.0 cents/kWh, due to the lower forecast wholesale market price of electricity,’’ ESCOSA says.

Individual energy retailers can elect to pay householders more for their power.

The original 44c/kWh feed-in tariff was taken up by more than 100,000 householders before it was closed by the Government in September 2011, and reduced to 16c/kWh. Householders who receive these payments are also eligible for the 5.3c payment which is paid by energy retailers.

Those who signed up before the cut-off receive the higher tariff until the scheme expires in 2028, costing an estimated $1.425 billion — an amount recovered through fees charged to all electricity customers.

The initially generous scheme was designed to foster the growth of the solar industry.

Solar panel prices have plummeted since then, with larger systems much more affordable now.


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