© Daily MailYoussef Uweinat, from Riverwood in Sydney's west, was arrested at his family home on Wednesday morning by counterterrorism police
A 21-year-old Sydney tradesman is accused of pledging allegiance to Islamic State and plotting terror attacks on home soil.
Youssef Uweinat, from Riverwood in the city's west, was arrested at his family home on Wednesday morning by counter-terrorism police, who had been investigating him for six months.
He has been charged with planning terrorist acts, advocating terrorism and being a member of a terrorist organisation.
Police allege Mr Uweinat was posting increasingly extremist material online and had even attempted to convince others - particularly teenagers - to pledge their allegiance to IS.
Hours before police swooped on his home, Mr Uweinat shared war videos titled 'Soldiers of the Caliphate', according to The Australian.
The night before his arrest, the tradie shared a quote on Instagram from extremist, Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent Al-Qaeda figure who was killed by a drone strike in 2011.
© Daily MailThe 21-year-old has been charged with preparing possible terrorist acts, advocating terrorism and being a member of a terrorist organisation
Mr Uweinat also shared speeches by al-Awlaki and in July, posted a picture of the figure with the text: "Let us not sit on the side-lines, let's be part of that victory."
In September, Mr Uweinat posted another video to social media about the "souls of 300 Muslims" that were "taken" in Baghouz in Syria - the last village held by IS.
"While you spend the nights clubbing and drinking, trying to be cool in front of your mates, your brothers and sisters are spending their nights being burnt alive and being bombed," he captioned the video.
"Where are the lions who will stand up and defend their religion?"
© Daily MailThe accused (pictured during Wednesday's arrest) also allegedly downloaded a document on how to use knives and other blunt instruments in a terrorist attack
On his Facebook page, Mr Uweinat claims to work for a plumbing business, based in western Sydney.
Meanwhile, on his Twitter account, which has been inactive since 2014, he boasted: "You f**k with me, you f**k with the best."
© Daily MailAuthorities say the 21-year-old was connected to others previously charged with terrorism offences in Australia. Mr McCartney said authorities had relied upon 2018 cybersecurity legislation to access the man's encrypted communications
Police will allege that Mr Uweinat recently downloaded a document on how to use knives and other blunt instruments in a terrorist attack.
Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Ian McCartney said Mr Uweinat's extremist activity was exclusively online.
"We decided to act early because we needed to - we were concerned," Mr McCartney said on Wednesday.
Mr McCartney said authorities had relied upon 2018 cybersecurity legislation to access the man's encrypted communications.
Video provided by France24
According to Mr McCartney, a terror attack in the United Kingdom last week - in which two people were fatally stabbed on London Bridge - was "not a key factor" in Mr Uweinat's arrest, but did prompt authorities to keep a keen eye on the accused.
"This activity is not connected to the London terrorist attack. But I think with that and this activity, unfortunately, this problem is not going away," he said.
"When there's a terrorist act committed in another country that generates significant media attention we're always concerned what impact that will have on people in Australia in terms of that radicalisation continuum."
© Daily MailThe man has been refused bail to appear in the Parramatta Local Court on Thursday. If found guilty he will face a lifetime sentence
Additional arrests connected to this case are not anticipated.
NSW Police Counter-Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander assistant commissioner Mark Walton said the "message couldn't be clearer".
"While there was no specific threat in relation to this individual, the alleged actions of this man were of significant concern to the NSW JCTT, and we have responded accordingly," he said.
Mr Uweinat has been refused bail and will appear in the Parramatta Local Court on Thursday.
If found guilty, he could face life behind bars.