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'Neo Nazi' 21-year-old 'planned to attack NSW electricity substation'

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 16/03/2020 9News Staff
a group of people standing in front of a car: A 21-year-old NSW man with a © Supplied A 21-year-old NSW man with a

A 21-year-old NSW man with a "Neo-Nazi" ideology was allegedly planning to attack an electrical substation, counter-terrorism police say.

The man was arrested over the weekend in the South Coast town of Nowra and police say Sunday's anniversary of the Christchurch Mosque shootings saw "escalating" activity.

The man was allegedly trying to buy military gear and equipment to make an improvised explosive device which could have knocked out power to a swathe of the region, police said.

He was talking to people online, with police working with other countries on the investigation.

Police allegedly seized guns, electronic gear and illegal gel paintball guns after searching the man's home in Sanctuary Point and the home of an associate in Parma, the AFP said. © Supplied Police allegedly seized guns, electronic gear and illegal gel paintball guns after searching the man's home in Sanctuary Point and the home of an associate in Parma, the AFP said.

Police allegedly seized guns, electronic gear and illegal gel paintball guns after searching the man's home in Sanctuary Point and the home of an associate in Parma, the AFP said.

They said there was no direct threat to local people, but Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton said the arrest would "come as a shock" to the community.

"The upcoming anniversary, the ideology and the alignment of that to Christchurch was one of the factors we took into account as to when we went over when we did," he said.

"There are a number of options that were being considered.

"One of the options included the disruption of an electrical substation that was on the South Coast.

"That would have had an impact on the distribution of electricity in the coastal area.

"What we know is this person had anti-government sentiment, he was anti-Semitic, he has Neo-Nazi interests and he is anti-Indigenous interests.

"Unfortunately, he has evolved with an ideology that really is one of hate against a lot of different groups."

The man has been charged with planning a terror act and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.

He will face Nowra Local Court today and an application will be made to have the matter heard in a Sydney court at a later date.

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