Lawyer for men charged in Sydney anti-terror raids denies they are threats

Police arrest a man in Greenacre during a counter-terrorism operation. Photo: NSW Police Photos released by police of the Photo: NSW Police
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Western Sydney home raided in counter-terrorism raids

The lawyer for two Sydney men arrested and charged with terror-related activity has denied they have any links to terrorism.

Omar Ammouche, 33, an alleged associate of wanted Sydney jihadist Khaled Sharrouf, was arrested at his Greenacre home on Friday as part of a long-running counter-terrorism investigation by Operation Duntulm, targeting foreign assistance and support provided to foreign fighters.

He was charged with possession of ammunition.

Hours later, Jibryl Alamouie, 21, handed himself in to police at Surry Hills police station. His Condell Park home was raided in December as part of a separate counter-terrorism investigation, Operation Appleby, where three guns and a “large amount” of ammunition were seized, police alleged.

Both were represented at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday by solicitor Adam Houda when their matters were briefly mentioned and adjourned until Monday when both are expected to apply for bail.

Mr Ammouche is allegedly an associate of Sharrouf, who fled Australia on his brother’s passport in 2013 despite being on the terror watch list and has posted photos of himself on social with severed heads, fighting with Islamic State.

However speaking outside the court, Mr Houda says both of his clients are “absolutely not” terrorists and have “no link whatsoever” to terrorism.

“No one’s charged with any terror-related offences, one of the hallmarks of our justice system is the presumption of innocence. So presume them innocent,” Mr Houda said.

“I can also say that the cases presented in court today are not strong cases, they are weak prosecution cases. And we hope to achieve bail for them on Monday,” he said.

As he left court with co-counsel Moustafa Kheir, Mr Houda said his clients should be released on bail on Monday.

“These matters, as you can see by court documentation, are nothing to do with terrorism or terror-related issues,” Mr Houda said, adding journalists should ask the “relevant authorities” why his clients were accused of terror charges in the first place. “There’s no suggestion at all that there’s any link with any terrorism. No link whatsoever,” he said.

The men will appear at Bankstown Local Court on Monday.

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