Sri Lankan student charged with terror offences in Sydney
Posted on August 31st, 2018

By Sally Rawsthorne Courtesy Brisbane Times

Star Sri Lankan student Mohamed Kamer Nilan Nizamdeen allegedly planned to attack a hit list of “symbolic” individuals and landmarks across Sydney in an ISIS-inspired lone-wolf terror attack that was foiled on Thursday when a co-worker stumbled across the list and alerted police.

Mr Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested by police in dramatic raids on his office high above the University of New South Wales on Thursday, after a colleague in the university’s IT business team found a notebook allegedly containing details of an “ISIS-affiliated” terrorist plot planned for the Harbour City in the next few months.

Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen appears in a 2016 promotional video for a project by the NSW Government body Study Sydney and an education startup. He was charged with terror offences on 31 August 2018. 
Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen appears in a 2016 promotional video for a project by the NSW Government body Study Sydney and an education startup. He was charged with terror offences on 31 August 2018.

Photo: NSW Government

It is understood the targets of the allegedly graphic threats included former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, ex-foreign minister Julie Bishop and their Liberal Party colleague Bronwyn Bishop. The iconic landmarks included the Sydney Opera House as well as police and railway stations.

Fairfax Media understands that police are now tracking his financial transactions from the past few years to see if they went beyond sending money back to Sri Lanka.

Those who know the Sri Lankan postgraduate student were in shock after the arrest, with multiple friends and neighbours saying they couldn’t believe what Mr Nizamdeen is accused of doing.

“Everyone says it, but he’s such a normal guy. I never would have expected it.”

PhD student charged with terror offences in Sydney

Playing in 4 .

A Sri Lankan national is alleged to have had a notebook containing Islamic State-inspired ideology, and was allegedly planning a terrorist attack involving iconic landmarks.

The IT business analyst was not previously known to police in Australia and has no criminal record.

It is understood that he has no family in Australia and lives with a roommate.

He had worked with NSW Police in 2016 to develop an app to help adapt to life in Australia, which was presented at Parliament House.

He was also selected as UNSW Hero of the Week last year, telling an interviewer that material things are unimportant to him.

“Success for me, being happy, doesn’t always have to be about money, it’s not about the high-ranking job. Success is if you’re comfortable with where you are,” he said.

Sri Lankan national Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen who has been charged with terrorism offences.
Sri Lankan national Mohamed Kamer Nilar Nizamdeen who has been charged with terrorism offences.

Photo: Supplied

Everyone says it, but he’s such a normal guy. I never would have expected it.

Friend of the accused

Mr Nizamdeen’s colleagues who witnessed the police raids on the office on Thursday said they were still reeling following the discovery of the notebook, and the subsequent arrest.

“It’s very dramatic. We are all very shaken,” said one colleague.

“It’s scary, thinking we were sitting next to someone plotting something horrible.”

After the arrest on Thursday, plain-clothed detectives also raided the Zetland apartment where he had lived for four years and seized computers and mobile phones from the unit.

Investigators from the multi-agency Joint Counter Terrorism Team say that the notebook found by a co-worker contained details of Sydney identities and landmarks that Mr Nissandeep was allegedly plotting to attack in the following months, NSW joint counter terrorism team commander Detective Acting Superintendent Mick Sheehy said.

It's understood police are now tracking his financial transactions to see if they went beyond sending money back to Sri Lanka.
It’s understood police are now tracking his financial transactions to see if they went beyond sending money back to Sri Lanka.

Photo: Supplied

“There is a number of locations and individuals named in that document who are potential targets,” he told reporters on Friday morning.

Police do not anticipate making any further arrests, he said.

While police say the IT student “would affiliate with ISIS”, he has not been charged with being a member of a terror group.

“At this stage it appears that this is an individual operating on his own. There is certainly some further investigation that is required but again it is a matter that is before the courts,” said Acting Superintendent Sheehy.

He has returned to his native Sri Lanka and has travelled to a number of other overseas destinations, which police on Friday refused to detail.

Mr Nizamdeen briefly faced Waverley Local Court on Friday morning charged with one count of making a document connected with the preparation of a terrorist act.

He did not apply for bail, which was formally refused. He will next appear in Central Local Court on October 24.

Police say that Mr Nizamdeen is on a student visa that expires in September, and was in the process of applying for a new one.

Instead, the AFP have applied for a Criminal Justice Stay visa so they can prosecute him.

“We will allege that this person was in possession of a document that was used in the preparation of air terrorism offence,” said the Australian Federal Police’s Detective Superintendent Michael Mick Tiernan.

“The charge laid against this person are serious and significant and should not be underestimated.”

Police are now working to investigate how Mr Nizamdeen allegedly became radicalised.

4 Responses to “Sri Lankan student charged with terror offences in Sydney”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    All terrorists from Sri Lanka speak the Tamil (Nadu) language. There is near perfect (100%) correlation coefficient between the two. This must be used to single out potential terrorists from and in Sri Lanka.

    Whereabouts of 35 ISIS terrorists from Sri Lanka who left the country in 2013 to fight in Syria are unknown. They are probably back in Sri Lanka radicalizing more youth. Given the importance of Muslim votes, Sri Lanka will never take action.

  2. Christie Says:

    A Sinhalese student is in jail in Australia for a similar act on an airplane where he said he had a bomb but it was a speaker with wires.

    I have come across a lot of Sinhalese international students in the West. Most of them live alone and not supported by the Sinhalese community in the West.

    The Indian parasite international students from Ceylon are well looked after by the Indian parasite community in the same countries.

  3. Randeniyage Says:

    Something wrong with Nadu language ? It is a curse to the world.
    Sri Lanka is the 2nd home to ISIS no doubt. ISIS is with the government and will be with the next government whether it is MR’s government or not. Thee two got together and put those who are against ISIS in the jail, no bail given for months. They have happily worked together to uproot the opposition to ISIS.
    Meanwhile black goni billas have invaded the land , not even seen in Muslim countries like Malaysia ,Indonesia, Bangladesh and even Pakistan where ladies wear jeans.

  4. Sirih Says:

    Federal and state securities are surprised that person with good family background and perfect education attempt to connect with isis.
    We are digging for more psychological tests to see if this is true and if so this guy will be toast.
    ——–
    Nilar Nizamdeen Mohamed Kamer is grandson of former Bank of Ceylon Chairman late attorney at law Jehan Kamer Cassim and is nephew of Minister of Sports and Provincial Councils and Local Government Faiszer Musthapha. His appeal for the bail is rejected and the hearing set to October 24th

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