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Counter terror raids: Man accused

The 23-year-old arrives at Bankstown Court today for his court appearance. Courtesy: 9News

A suspected member of a terror cell which allegedly swore allegiance to Islamic State while planning an attack in Sydney has smiled while facing court.

Federal and NSW counter-terrorism police raided six properties in Sydney’s west yesterday morning, arresting three men.

Radwan Dakkak, 23, appeared in Bankstown Local Court today charged with being a member of a terror organisation.

The prosecutor named the organisation as “Islamic State” as Dakkak smiled to supporters and raised his eyebrows. A group of young men smiled back.

Dakkak did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. He is expected before Parramatta Local Court via audiovisual link on August 30.

His lawyer Mohamed Abbas did not comment as he left court.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney yesterday said the alleged plot was in the “early stages” of planning and targeted police stations, defence establishments, consulates, councils, courts and churches in Sydney’s CBD.

Detectives say Dakkak, from Toongabbie, is “prominent in the global online extremist community”.

Ahmed Tebya was separately charged with obtaining a financial benefit by deception and granted police bail with his matter due back in court later in July. He has not been charged with terrorism offences.

A third man, Isaak el Matari, 20, is expected to be charged with being a member of a terror organisation, preparing for a terrorist act and preparing to enter a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.