Three of four detained over Australian police murder set free
Three of four people detained in Australia over the terror-linked murder of a police employee by a teenage boy have been set free without charge.
The four men, aged from 16 to 22, had been arrested in a massive police operation across Sydney on Wednesday, and were under investigation over the killing of Curtis Cheng outside New South Wales state police headquarters in western Sydney.
Three of the four were released on Thursday. An 18-year-old remains the only suspect remaining in custody.
Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, 15, who had Iraqi and Kurdish parents and no previous criminal history, shot dead 58-year-old Cheng on Friday. The teenager was killed in an exchange of fire with police at the scene.
The Sydney Morning Herald daily, quoting police sources, said Jabar was purportedly recruited by a number of extremists in Sydney, who believed they were under too much surveillance to commit the murder themselves.
The newspaper reported that CCTV footage showed Jabar meeting several men in western Sydney ahead of the killing.
Two of the four suspects released on Thursday were linked to a foiled plan to decapitate a “non-believer” in Sydney last year ordered by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, the daily said.
New South Wales State Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Jabar’s “terrorist links” had been determined, but there was not enough evidence to keep the other three in custody.
The suspects can be tried in court “only when we have sufficient evidence that can put us in a position where we can charge an offender,” Scipione said.