Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

A Tamworth man who advocated for violent terrorist acts in a series of racist and extremist messages on social media has been sentenced to two years and seven months’ in prison.

The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) arrested Wade John Homewood, then 37, at his home in East Tamworth where he lived with his parents, in November 2021. The arrest followed an investigation into online posts including videos featuring nationalist, racist and violent-extremist messaging.

Mr Homewood, appearing by video link from prison, pleaded guilty to advocating online for acts of serious violence, including murder, to be committed against groups of people, which he identified by race, political viewpoints and occupation, including police officers and politicians.

The case had been moved from Tamworth Court for security reasons.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent Colin Hunt said the JCTT continued to disrupt attempts by Australians calling for religious and ideologically motivated violence.

“Anyone thinking they can hide behind a keyboard to post abhorrent and violent messages that threaten the Australian community should think again,” Detective Acting Superintendent Hunt said.

“The JCTT’s number one priority is to keep the community safe and will continue to investigate those who go online to call for terrorist acts.”

NSWPF Terrorism Investigation Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Mick Sheehy, said hate speech and the advocation of violence or terrorism online is linked to the global increase in violence towards specific communities.

“With the world communicating through social media, individuals inclined towards a particular ideology have found platforms where they can reinforce their views and offer violent actors the opportunity to publicise their acts,” he said.

“The safety of the people of NSW is our priority and the JCTT will continue to monitor, investigate and prosecute anyone who advocates any form of violence.”

The NSW JCTT is comprised of members from the Australian Federal Police, NSW Police Force, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission.

Anyone with information about extremist activity or possible threats to the community should come forward, no matter how small or insignificant you may think the information may be.

Report any suspicious activity to Triple Zero (000), Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00.

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