Sri Lankan national Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen was arrested at the University of NSW on Thursday
Sri Lankan national Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen was arrested at the University of NSW on Thursday

REVEALED: Lone wolf's terror hit list

A SRI Lankan man working at a Sydney university has been charged over a document that police allege contained plans for terrorist attacks.

Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen was arrested by counter-terrorism officers at the University of NSW in Kensington on Thursday.

It followed a tip-off from a worker at the university, who police said found a notebook that allegedly named several locations and individuals as "potential targets".

"They are symbolic locations within Sydney," Detective Acting Superintendent Mick Sheehy told reporters on Friday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the targets included former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, while landmarks on the hit list included the Sydney Opera House and railway and police stations.

Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop held high office in Australian politics until last Friday.
Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop held high office in Australian politics until last Friday.

"We have both psychologists and investigators looking at that document to try to interpret the intent and capability, but that is in essence the offence that is before the court."

A number of other electronic items were also seized during a raid at a unit at Zetland early on Friday morning.

The 25-year-old was charged with collecting or making a document which is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.

"The charges laid against this person are serious and significant, and should not be underestimated," Australian Federal Police Detective Superintendent Michael McTiernan said.

Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen’s LinkedIn profile says he is business systems analyst at UNSW
Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen’s LinkedIn profile says he is business systems analyst at UNSW

Nizamdeen is in Australia on a student visa that expires in September. Police say he is believed to be affiliated with Islamic State but he has not been charged with being a member of a terrorist group.

He was employed as a contractor at the University of NSW and has allegedly travelled back to Sri Lanka and other areas.

Nizamdeen, who's in Australia on a student visa that's due to expire next month, is a poster boy for UNSW's Hero Program, where he collaborated with Deloitte and IBM as part of an innovation initiative in 2015.

The commerce graduate has worked as a business systems analyst for the institution since 2016 on projects including Microsoft Office's 365 - a cyber security mobile app - and Identity and Access Management products, which safeguard user access to critical information within an organisation.

Police said he was not known to police and does not have any criminal history in Australia.

The case was briefly mentioned at Waverley Local Court on Friday. Nizamdeen did not apply for bail and it was formally refused.

Nizamdeen, who’s in Australia on a student visa that’s due to expire next month, is a poster boy for UNSW’s Hero Program.
Nizamdeen, who’s in Australia on a student visa that’s due to expire next month, is a poster boy for UNSW’s Hero Program.

The University of NSW said the safety and wellbeing of staff and students on campus was its highest priority.

"We will continue to assist police with their investigations and to act on the advice of NSW police," a spokeswoman told AAP.

After the arrest yesterday, a search warrant was executed at a unit on Defries Avenue at Zetland about 2am this morning.

During the search, a number of electronic items were seized for further examination.

Nizamdeen was taken to Maroubra Police Station and charged with collecting or making a document which is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.

UNSW.
UNSW.

AFP detective superintendent Michael McTiernan said the charges were "serious and significant".

"It is quite a significant document which requires further analysis," he said.

"At this stage there is a number of locations and individuals named in that document who are potential targets."

The dramatic swoop was part of an investigation conducted by the NSW Joint Counter-Terrorism Team (JCTT).

Members of the team arrested the man yesterday at Kensington, in Sydney's southeast.

The JCTT is made up of officers from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission.

Police say the man has recently travelled back and forth from Australia and Sri Lanka, as well as "other regions", however they did not specify where.

NSW Police detective acting superintendent Michael Sheehy said there was currently no concerns for public safety

"This is clearly an offence in relation to the preparation of a document," he said. "It is not an offence in relation to capability of this individual."

Police said Mr Nizamdeen's visa was to expire in September, and that he was in the process of applying for another one.

Nizamdeen will return to court on October 24.

- with Ben Graham.



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