NSW’S Joint Counter-Terrorism Taskforce Arrests Man on NSW South Coast

A 21-year-old man from Sanctuary Point on the NSW South Coast was arrested last Saturday, March 14, as part of a joint Australian Federal Police and NSW Police investigation into extreme right-wing behaviour. The man did not apply for bail when he appeared in Nowra court on Monday, March 16. He was identified as Joshua Lucas and is charged with planning a terrorist act.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Scott Lee said in a statement on Monday that the decision to arrest the man was made to mitigate any immediate threat to the community. “It will be alleged the man was attempting and planning to purchase or acquire military equipment, including firearms and items capable of making improvised explosive devices,” he said.

“What we know is this person had antigovernment sentiment, he was anti-Semitic, he has neo-Nazi interests and he has anti-Indigenous interests,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton said. He said there was no ongoing threat to the community, and encouraged people to report suspicious online behaviour.

Stratium Global Analysis: This arrest reaffirms that individuals in Australia maintain intent and capability to perpetrate terror acts under the banner of their preferred ideology – in this case, right – wing extremism. The engagement of social media and online activities remains a utilised means for the exploration and espousal of ideological material. The pur suit of an IED in conjunction with the Lucas’s access to weaponry is concerning.