An inmate at Goulburn jail has been charged with terrorism offences for allegedly plotting to attack police, military and Corrective Services officers.
Tuki Lawrence, 24, who was in prison for unrelated offences when he came under suspicion, was charged by counter-terrorism police over letters found in his cell that allegedly outlined plans to carry out attacks.
Investigators linked Lawrence to Islamic State sympathisers two years ago, including Isaak El Matari, who wanted to create a Blue Mountains stronghold to launch guerilla attacks across Sydney, and Radwan Dakkak, 25.
El Matari, from Greenacre, allegedly proclaimed himself the “General Commander of Islamic State Australia” and pleaded guilty in October to making preparations for a terrorist act and incursion into foreign countries for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.
Dakkak, from Denistone, served 18 months in prison on two charges of knowingly associating with a member of a terrorist organisation. Shortly after his release in January, he was charged with breaching a control order by allegedly accessing online material supporting executions, beheadings and torture.
An investigation by the NSW Police high risk terrorist offenders unit saw Lawrence put on an interim continuing detention order in 2019. Evidence uncovered during the investigation was passed onto the NSW joint counter-terrorism team, which comprises representatives from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and NSW Crime Commission.
Tuki Lawrence expresses his feelings about the government and society in a YouTube rap. He has been charged with acts done in preparation for terrorist attacks.
A subsequent search of his Goulburn Supermax cell in October 2019, when he was in custody for domestic violence charges, allegedly uncovered the evidence of plans to attack law enforcement and military personnel.
With his possible exit from prison looming, police charged Lawrence on Thursday with two counts of acts done in preparation for terrorist attacks.
The offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
“With the good work conducted by the NSW [joint counter-terrorism team] and NSW Police’s high risk terrorism offenders team, this investigation uncovered alleged plots to harm the very men and women whom our community members trust to keep them safe,” AFP Assistant Commissioner Scott Lee said.
NSW Police Force counter-terrorism and special tactics commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said investigations involved specialist officers trained to “identify and disrupt potential terrorist plans by individuals or groups, monitor those at risk of radicalisation and detect those who seek to do harm within our community”.
Supreme Court proceedings on Lawrence’s interim continuing detention order in 2019 considered a psychological risk assessment report provided by Corrective Services NSW that found Lawrence, who has a lengthy criminal record, to be a high risk of committing a violent offence and engaging in extremist violence.
The report said he adhered to an extremist ideology that justified violence, warning he may have a “nothing to lose” mentality reflecting his contempt for Western democracy and non-Islamic governance.
It concluded there was “a degree of imminence of risk for religiously motivated violence, violent extremism or terrorist activity” and specifically expressed concern about his “likelihood of engaging in lone actor style targeted violence”.
NSW Police information tendered in court alleged Lawrence told officers in July 2017, “I love ISIS, I love terrorism.”
In a YouTube video posted in 2016, Lawrence sang about his disdain for the authorities and their treatment of him.
“F— the government, they’re all corrupt. They pretend to care but they don’t give a f—. F— the police and f— all the laws. F— all the judges, they can lick my balls,” he rapped to backing music.
A woman identifying as Lawrence’s sister also faced court recently after she made threats against a media outlet over a report on a Supreme Court application for a continuing detention order against Lawrence.
Rachel Scoble, 27, messaged the Channel Ten Facebook page threatening to attack people for “f—ing with the wrong family”.
In the message, she warned the media outlet to remove the story and said she would “slit ya throats” and make a bomb.
“I will send you my bomb stuff that ive got when I get to where I need too be f—ing with the wrong family c—. Where you reside throw a bomb in ya office more bodies the better,” Scoble said.
“Take that video down of tuki Lawrence my younger brother or walk out on the street and slit there throat. Im gonna use this bomb. Jail don’t scare me.”
Appearing in Newcastle Local Court, Scoble pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to menace or harass and to intimidating intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm.
Lawrence is due to appear before Parramatta Local Court on April 2.
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