Controversial Perth-based Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne has travelled to Sydney for spiritual cleansing sessions.
Self-proclaimed sheikh Junaid Thorne travelled from Perth to Sydney to provide spiritual cleansing sessions, days after mocking the federal government’s position on the Islamic State movement.
The 25-year-old, who in July was banned from preaching in West Australian prisons, has attracted a following since he was deported from Saudi Arabia in July 2013.
News Corp Australia has been told that Junaid developed ties to the iQraa Islamic Centre at Underwood in Brisbane’s southeast, which was raided by police on Wednesday.
It has reported the centre promoted and raised money for two “sermons” by Junaid.
While in Saudi Arabia, he raised the ire of authorities for protesting against his brother Shayden’s imprisonment for terrorism-related offences and was placed in detention, then went into hiding after his passport was confiscated.
Shayden was granted clemency in February and reunited with his family in Perth.
The half-Aboriginal brothers lived in Saudi Arabia for more than 10 years but kept their Australian citizenship.
On his return, Junaid criticised the Australian government, saying he expected more help.
He hit headlines again for social media posts in which he appeared in front of the flag of terrorist organisation Islamic State and for lecturing in Brisbane under the banner of Millatu-Ibrahim, which is banned in Germany.
In June, he responded to a report in WA media by saying he did not incite terrorism “or encourage unjustified acts of violence”, and accused the US and Australian governments of practising “legalised terrorism by oppressing, bombing, and killing our Muslim people”.
“I do support and encourage all help towards the oppressed Muslims around the world … ANY oppression towards Muslims must be defended.”
The newspaper article was also denounced by the WA Islamic Council as “sensational and alarmist” but the council conceded imams and Aboriginal elders would have to help “rehabilitate” his views.
Last week, Junaid mocked new penalties imposed for those fighting with or supporting listed terrorist groups such as Islamic State.
“A Muslim supports a terrorist organization with words = 25 years in jail,” he posted on Facebook.
“The government supports a terrorist organization with ammunition and weapons = humanitarian aid. #Hypocrisy”
Junaid posted on social media on Tuesday saying he was on his way to Sydney for ruqyah, or spiritual cleansing sessions.