31-year-old Melbourne man Philip Galea has been charged following his arrest in yesterday’s counter-terrorism raids.
Facing Melbourne Magistrate Court today, Galea was charged with both preparing or planning a terrorist attack, and for obtaining documents likely to assist in that goal.
Galea, a noted campaigner for far-right organisations, told the court he’d contest the charges, and that they constitute a so-called conspiracy against the “patriot movement.”
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Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther said “the threat was specific enough to cause us alarm in terms of what the risk represented to the community,” and that “the person in custody has a number of different affiliations to organisations.”
While a member of the anti-Islam True Blue Crew confirmed to the ABC that Galea is indeed a member, a court heard last year that he also numbers among Reclaim Australia‘s ranks.
At the time, Galea was sentenced to one month behind bars for possessing a number of tasers and mercury in the lead-up to an anti-immigration rally.
During that same court appearance, the court heard Galea was in possession of “extreme” material related to far-right groups.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there is no imminent threat to the Victorian public regarding yesterday’s arrest, but “at no point would we ever take for granted that you’ve got to be vigilant.”
Galea was refused bail, and he’ll face court again on Tuesday.