Australia detains man for helping IS develop missiles

Canberra, Feb 28 (IANS) Australia detained a man accused of helping the Islamic State (IS) terror group to develop missiles, the police said on Tuesday.

The suspect, a 42-year-old electrician who is an Australian national, was detained in Young, a rural area located around 160 km of capital Canberra, Efe news reported.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the suspect, who was not identified, sought to develop long-range missiles for the terror group and “utilised the internet to perform services for IS”.

The suspect was assisting IS, firstly, “by researching and designing a laser warning device to help warn against incoming guiding munitions used by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq,” Colvin said.

“Secondly, he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist IS efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities,” he added.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the detainee “sought to advise” IS on how to develop high-tech weapons but ruled out that the arrest is linked to an imminent terror threat in the country.

“This individual acted with intent to provide IS with technical and high-tech capability, to detect and develop missiles,” Turnbull added.

“The evidence uncovered to date does not involve immediate domestic attack planning,” he added.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the arrest was the result of an 18-month long investigation.

Australia raised its terror alert in September 2014 and tightened security in the country along with adopting a number of counter terrorism laws to prevent terror attacks on its soil.

Since then, four terrorist attacks have been registered and 12 other potential attacks have been thwarted in the country.