NSW man faces charges after extremist online posts

The man also advocated violence against certain politicians, authorities

NSW man faces charges after extremist online posts

A 37-year-old New South Wales man from Tamworth has been charged with urging violence and advocating terrorism.

Authorities said that he was “a regular and consistent user of social media platforms, where he urged force or violence against groups of people, which he identified by race, political viewpoints and occupation.” They said that he also advocated violent acts against several Australian political leaders.

On Wednesday, the man appeared at Tamworth Local Court after an investigation showed that he posted online content with “nationalist and racist violent extremist” messaging.

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In September, the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) probed the man’s online activities after investigators identified potential criminal offences in multiple social media posts. They had also seized electronic devices, handwritten and printed material.

He was charged with one count of urging violence against members or groups against the Commonwealth’s Criminal Code and one count of advocating terrorism against the same Code. Each offence carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

In a media release, the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) Assistant Commissioner Scott Lee said that there was “sufficient concern” that the man’s posts “might inspire other people” to commit acts of violence.

“This man’s quantity of messages on online forums was of similar concern to the actual content of the messages – resulting in the very real fear that it would inspire someone to commit a violent or terrorist act,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, the NSW Police Force’s Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said investigators are “acutely aware” that online platforms can be “exploited to spread extremist views and incite violence.”

“The NSW JCTT monitors these activities and rhetoric as part of the commitment to protecting the people of NSW from those who seek to do us harm,” Walton said.

The man is set to reappear in court on 10 December after being refused bail.

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