Australia: Man accused of helping Islamic State build missile tech held

Australia has seen several 'lone wolf' attacks including the?Sydney cafe siege in 2014 in which two hostages and a gunman were?killed. (Representative image) Photograph:( AFP )

WION Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Feb 28, 2017, 07.27 AM (IST)

Counter-terror police in Australia arrested an unidentified man Tuesday for allegedly helping the Islamic State develop missile technology. This is the first arrest of its kind in Australia.

A contingent of police personnel along with sniffer dogs and metal detectors raided a property of the alleged IS man in Young, about 270 km (170 miles) southwest of Sydney, earlier on Tuesday, Australian media reported.

The police allege the 42-year-old man had been advising the radical Islamic group on how to develop the capability to detect a guided missile and also to build its own missile.

"We will also allege that he has been researching, designing and modelling systems to assist Islamic State's efforts to develop their own long-range guided missile capabilities," Ian McCartney, assistant commissioner of counter-terrorism for Australian Federal Police told Reuters.

Other police officials alleged the man was attempting to research and design a laser missile-warning device, Reuters reported. Trained as an electrician, the man is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, police said.

Australia has seen several "lone wolf" attacks including the Sydney cafe siege in 2014 in which two hostages and a gunman were killed. About 100 people have left Australia to join the radical Islamic groups such as IS, Australia's immigration minister had said last year.

The Islamic State group has come under sustained attack in recent weeks from coalition air strikes, which have seen the group lose much of its foothold in Syria and Iraq. Australian Air Force planes have been involved in some of those strikes against the group in Syria.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)