"Australian police late Thursday searched several properties across Sydney, reportedly as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation but not related to the deadly cafe siege earlier this week," Agence France-Presse reported citing the Australian authorities.
It is worth mentioning that Australia raised its terror threat level in September 2014, citing the danger posed by jihadists returning to the country from Syria and Iraq. Since that time, Australian authorities have started regular police raids using the so-called PDOs (Preventative Detention Order) measures. According to the Guardian, the PDO policy allows to arrest people and detain them "for up to two weeks without charge."
"Police will allege that men were key facilitators in the movement of funds that paid for Australians to travel to the Middle East to fight with the proscribed terrorist organisation, Islamic State. Police allege the men made available to a terrorist organization approximately Aus $15,000 (US $12,300) in funds in August this year," the Australian federal police stated on Monday, December 15, as quoted by Agence France-Presse.
According to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, at least 70 Australians have joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, while about 100 Australian "facilitators" are supporting terrorists.
Agence France-Presse underscores that the Australian government has recently passed a law that prohibits travelling to terror war zone "without good reason." Those who violated the legislation would face a prison term up to ten years.