Operation Appleby is touted as Australia’s biggest counter-terrorism raid. In 2009 there was Operation Neath and in 2004 Operation Pendennis.



Operation Appleby

Fifteen arrests.

One man, Omarjan Azari, charged with acting in preparation for a terrorist act, allegedly conspiring with senior IS figure Mohammad Baryalei and others.

Number of police involved: 800 from AFP, NSW Police, QLD Police and ASIO.

Raids in western and northwestern Sydney suburbs and in three locations in southeast Queensland

What’s alleged: terrorist cell may have been planning beheadings, and/or mass shootings of random members of the public in Sydney.


Operation Neath

Five arrests.

Number of police involved: 400 from AFP, Victoria Police and NSW Police.

Raids in northern Melbourne suburbs and Colac in south-western Victoria.

What’s alleged: the men were planning a suicide terrorist attack on Holsworthy army barracks in Sydney’s west.

What else: The investigation also uncovered links to a north African terrorist group, al-Shabaab. Police alleged the suspected terrorist cell was involved in supporting the Islamic insurgency in Somalia.

Saney Edow Aweys, Nayef El Sayed and Wissam Mahmoud Fattal all sentenced to 18 years for ‘conspiring to do acts in preparation for, or planning, such a terrorist act’.


Operation Pendennis

Joint investigation involving NSWPF, AFP, NSW Crime Commission and ASIO.

Uncovered a network of terrorism cells in Melbourne and Sydney who had plotted terrorist attacks on Australian soil, including bombing the MCG on AFL Grand Final Day.

Around 20 arrests

Found guilty in 2008: Radical Muslim cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika sentenced to 15 years imprisonment

Aimen Joud sentenced to 10 years

Fadl Sayadi sentenced to 8 years

Abdullah Merhi sentenced 6 years

Ezzit Raad sentenced to 6 years

Amer Haddara sentenced to 6 years

Found guilty in 2009:

Khaled Sharrouf sentenced to three years, 11 months and seven days after pleading guilty to one count relating to preparations for a terrorist act. Released on October 15, 2009. Has since joined the IS fighters in Syria. He shocked the public earlier this year in putting a photo on social media of his son holding up a severed head.

Found guilty in 2010:

Khaled Cheikho sentenced to 27 years

Moustafa Cheikho sentenced to 26 years

Mohamed Ali Elomar sentenced to 28 years

Abdul Rakib Hasan sentenced to 26 years

Mohammed Omar Jamal sentenced to 23 years