National

Former cop recruit charged with aiding IS

By AAP Newswire

A Brisbane man, who allegedly helped a relative in terror group Islamic State by providing video editing software, was briefly a Queensland Police Service recruit.

Alaa Adam Atwani, 27, faced Richlands Magistrates Court on Wednesday after being charged with attempting to provide support to a terrorist organisation.

Police allege he provided Sony Vegas video-editing software to the relative, who had travelled to a Middle East conflict zone and was working for the Islamic State's media unit.

"We will allege that the support this man provided was tangible and would directly assist a terrorist organisation with its objectives," AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said.

Atwani committed the alleged offence at a unit in Sydney suburb Punchbowl in late 2014, court documents state.

It is alleged he knew he was helping a terrorist organisation.

Three years later, in 2017, Atwani signed up with the police, AAP understands.

Atwani did not disclose to police his connection to the Islamic State member, News Corp Australia reported.

But sources told AAP he did not last a year in the recruitment process before the connection was picked up and he was ejected.

QPS said it uses a "rigorous point-in-time integrity vetting process" to ensure recruits are suitable - that includes background checks.

"The process is supported by stringent recruitment provisions that require applicants to disclose wide-ranging relevant information to assess suitability," A QPS spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Failure to disclose relevant information may result in the termination of a recruit's contract. QPS employees are also required to make ongoing disclosures throughout their career."

QPS would not comment on Atwani specifically.

Atwani was arrested after a joint raid by ASIO and federal and state police at a sharehouse in Algester, in Brisbane's south, on Tuesday morning.

One of his housemates, Rohit Rajana, told AAP he does not know Atwani well but he seemed like a "good guy".

Atwani, known as "Adam", was living there for a few months but did not spend time with any of the housemates, Mr Rajana said on Wednesday.

Atwani, who faces 25 years' imprisonment, did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody.

His matter was set aside for mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court on June 21.

Assistant Commissioner McCartney said there was no threat to the community in Queensland as a result of the investigation.

He said police aimed to "identify all criminality associated with Australians who illegally travelled to participate in the conflict in Syria and Iraq".