September 28, 2011
A SYDNEY man with ''demonstrated connections'' to one of the world's most wanted terrorist preachers has been arrested by police over allegations he broke into a cash machine.
Milad bin Ahmad-Shah al-Ahmadzai was arrested after three other men were prevented from robbing a cash van at gunpoint in western Sydney yesterday.
Mr al-Ahmadzai, 21, is alleged by ASIO to have had contact with the Yemen-based al-Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.
Awlaki is of great concern to intelligence agencies due to his ability to use the internet to radicalise young Muslim men in Western countries. He is seen as such a threat that last year he was placed on a CIA ''catch or kill'' list.
Last year Mr al-Ahmadzai was one of 23 Australian residents whom ASIO judged of such concern that it alerted US authorities to them. But yesterday morning Mr al-Ahmadzai was in a different type of trouble, arrested by detectives from the NSW police robbery squad at his home in Ermington.
He was arrested shortly after three other men, aged between 24 and 29, were found by police in a Cecil Hills carpark. The three men were in two stolen cars and police allege they found a rifle, two handguns and several balaclavas. An armoured cash van was in the carpark. The three were charged with robbery and firearms offences.
Policesearched Mr al-Ahmadzai's home and five other locations, seizing a Subaru WRX, a pistol, ammunition, Australian and US currency, a pill press, anabolic steroids, two-way radios, laptop computers, mobile phones and passports. All four are due to face Sydney courts today.