Police investigating whether Nizamdeen was set-up by brother of Australian sportsperson - report

Police investigating whether Nizamdeen was set-up by brother of Australian sportsperson - report

October 20, 2018   11:55 am


UPDATE: The brother of Australian cricket star Usman Khawaja has been drawn in to a police counter-terrorism investigation.

Ten Eyewitness News has learnt officers this week raided the Sydney home where Arsalan Khawaja lives with his parents, as part of their probe into a terrorism “hit list” found written in a notebook at the University of New South Wales.

On Friday, a terrorism charge was dropped against the notebook’s owner Mohamed Nizamdeen, as police conceded it was “likely” he was not the author of the manifest, which made reference to former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the Sydney Opera House.

Nizamdeen had spent more than a month behind bars in Goulburn’s Supermax jail, after the notebook was found inside his desk at the University by a co-worker.

It’s understood police are now investigating whether Nizamdeen was “set up”.

Arsalan Khawaja works at the university with Nizamdeen, although it’s not clear whether he was the person who provided police with their initial tip-off.

His father Tariq Khawaja confirmed to Ten News that police arrived at the family’s Westmead home this week, armed with a search warrant.

“They have their job to do. There’s nothing to worry about,” he said.

Asked whether his son had any connection to the notebook, Mr Khawaja replied: “He is his colleague. He works with him. I have no idea about this. Sorry, I can’t discuss this.”

It’s understood police seized material containing Arsalan Khawaja’s handwriting during the search warrant, with the intention of comparing it to the notebook.

No charges have been laid against Arsalan Khawaja, although the police investigation is ongoing.

The brother of a prominent Australian sportsperson may have been involved in setting up a 25-year-old Sri Lankan student over an alleged Sydney terror plot. 

Charges against Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen were formally dropped by NSW police on Friday after the 25-year-old spent 40 days in a supermax jail accused of concocting an ISIS-inspired terror plot.

The plan, detailed in a notebook found inside Nizamdee’s desk at the University of NSW, was to allegedly target iconic Sydney land marks and high-profile Australians including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

The Sri Lankan student was freed on bail last month after the sole piece of evidence against him fell apart.

According to experts the notebook was not written in Nizamdeen’s handwriting.

On Friday NSW police said despite dropping all charges they were refusing to close the case because the question over who did write it remains.

Now, police are investigating whether the 25-year-old was framed and believe the brother of a high-profile Australian sportsperson may have been involved.

Ten News has chosen not to reveal the identity of the sportsperson at this time.

“We believed we had enough evidence at that time to effect an arrest in relation to this matter... right through the investigation we have acted in good faith,” said Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney earlier on Friday.

“Based on the evidence we have got at this stage it is likely he did not write the comments in the notebook but there are still a number of questions we have to have answered in relation to the investigation.”

The student’s lawyer Moustafa Kheir told reporters outside court on Friday that the entire ordeal was “unforgivable” and his client would be suing the state over the bungle.

“It’s a terrible experience, as a young man who has done everything right in life, he has gone through supermax jail in unforgivable circumstances,” Kheir said.

The student who has claimed his innocence since he was first arrested in August, uploaded a video on social media shortly after he was released from prison last month.

“Thank you very much to the Sri Lankan public and officers for standing by me and believing that I’m innocent, which I am,” Nizamdeen said.

Source: Ten Daily


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