Australian police frustrated over release of terror suspects


Sydney (dpa) – The New South Wales police chief said Thursday police are frustrated they had to release three out of the four suspects they had arrested in connection with their investigation into the attack on police headquarters.

Only one suspect, an 18-year-old, is being held after police won a closed court application Thursday to detain him for questioning for an extra 100 hours.

Three others arrested on Wednesday, aged 16 to 22, were released after 24 hours without charges being laid.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said on radio station 2GB Thursday that letting them go was “frustrating”.

“When we raid homes, the law’s quite clear: only when we have sufficient evidence that can put us in a position to charge an offender with an offence [and] put them before a court, that we can hold them,” Scipione said.

Schoolboy Farhad Jabar, 15, changed into black robes at a mosque and then walked to Sydney Police headquarters where he shot a police accountant in the back of the head killing him instantly, then shouted Islamic religious slogans as he began a gunfight with police until he was shot dead.

Scipione said the attack by Jabar was religiously motivated and a terrorist act. Police are searching for those who radicalised the boy and gave him the handgun.

“This had a religious connotation to it, certainly,” he said.

“We know that this young man had been radicalised. We know that now.”

Scipione said young, vulnerable people were being preyed upon by radicals around the world, and the radicalisation process occurred very quickly.

“I think at the stage that they’re being preyed upon they’re victims, but the minute they pull the trigger, they go from being a victim to a murderer. That’s reality.”