5 sus­pect ji­hadis at­tempt to leave Syd­ney for Syria


Five young men have be­come the largest sin­gle group of sus­pected ji­hadis to at­tempt to leave Aus­tralia for Syria and Iraq. But they were stopped twice on con­sec­u­tive days last week by coun­tert­er­ror­ism of­fi­cials at Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional Air­port, a min­is­ter said Fri­day.

Of­fi­cials be­lieve the group is con­nected to another two men, in their late 20s and early 30s, who at­tempted to fly from the same air­port on con­sec­u­tive days at the week­end but were pre­vented on sus­pi­cion that they were would-be for­eign fight­ers, Bor­der Pro­tec­tion Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton said.

The first group was first turned back on Wed­nes­day last week. Of­fi­cials dis­cov­ered they were each car­ry­ing around 10,000 Aus­tralian dol­lars (US$7,300) in cash, Dut­ton said.

Dut­ton de­clined to say whether any had been charged or taken into cus­tody. He also would not say if any had had his pass­port can­celed on se­cu­rity grounds.

Aus­tralian of­fi­cials are con­cerned by the grow­ing num­ber of wanna-be for­eign fight­ers who are at­tempt­ing to leave Aus­tralia for the Mid­dle East.

“This in­di­cates the con­tin­u­ing al­lure of this death cult,” Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott said, re­fer­ring to the Is­lamic State move­ment. “It shows the im­por­tance of the most vig­or­ous ac­tion at home and abroad to dis­rupt, de­grade, to de­stroy this men­ace to the free­dom and the se­cu­rity of the world.”

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