Australian man faces terrorism charges over threatening cops with knife

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/1/3 10:36:20

A man who was arrested in June last year after threatening to kill cops in Sydney with a knife is now facing terrorism charges over the incident, Australian police said on Wednesday.

Blake Pender, 26, allegedly "made numerous threats about wanting to become a martyr and kill police," New South Wales state police said in a statement.

Pender was first charged with being armed with the intent to assault police and steal. Following further investigations, the Fixated Persons Investigation Unit within the New South Wales Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command laid out the terrorism charges against Pender, including possessing an item connected with a terrorist act and preparing or planning for one. The suspect remains in custody and is set to be in court next month.

The charges highlight the importance of the unit "in capturing those who seek to cause harm," NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing was quoted as saying.

"The unit identifies and investigates people who may not necessarily profile as a terrorist suspect, but could be capable of carrying out an attack," he said.

"It's a reality that there are people in the community who seek to cause harm to us, and police remain a target.

"NSW Police are doing everything we can to stop the next attack from happening and this unit adds another layer of protection for the community and in many cases, protects individuals from themselves."

Separately, in July last year, Australian federal police carried out terrorist raids across Sydney over a suspected plot to bomb a plane. Four men were later taken into custody as part of police inquiries.


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