Australia charges five men over sailing plot to join Islamic State

By REUTERS
May 14, 2016 18:30

 
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Australian police have charged five men held earlier this week on suspicion of planning to travel in a small motor boat to Indonesia and the Philippines en route to join Islamic State in Syria.

The men, aged between 21 and 31, were charged with preparing to enter a foreign country "for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities," an offense that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The five were arrested on Tuesday after towing the seven-meter motor boat almost 3,000 km (1,865 miles) from Melbourne to Cairns in northern Queensland state, police said.

They have been in custody since, and are not scheduled to face court until Monday.

"There's no current or impending threat of a terrorist act to the Australian community arising from this investigation," a police statement said.

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