Sydney man charged with plotting lone wolf-style terrorism

By @chelean on
NSW police
Police stand guard and inspect the area outside the New South Wales (NSW) state police headquarters located in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, Australia, October 2, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

An already arrested Sydney man has been charged with allegedly plotting a Lone Wolf-style terrorism. Blake Nicholas Pender, 26, was arrested in June 2017 for reportedly threatening police officers, “muttering in a foreign language,” while wielding a knife.

Police said he made numerous threats about wanting to become a martyr and kill the officers. Pender was originally charged with intimidating a police officer, armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and custody of a knife in public place, reports.

He also threatened a judge when he was refused bail in June. “F--- you, judge, you will be next,” he was heard yelling.

Following further investigations by the Fixated Persons Investigation Unit within the NSW Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, Pender received additional charges on Wednesday. He is now facing possessing a thing connected with a terrorist act and doing an act in preparation for or planning a terrorist act.

“The Unit identifies and investigates people who may not necessarily profile as a terrorist suspect, but could be capable of carrying out an attack,” Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command Mick Willing said, adding that the man did not pose a new threat. Pender is believed to be working alone and is not connected to any group.

“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.”

Pender is due to return to court on Feb. 8. It is the first time terrorism charges have been laid by the fixated persons unit, which has so far conducted 52 investigations and charged 14 people with a variety of offences.

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