Musa Cerantonio, the notorious Islamic preacher, is one of five men who were arrested in Queensland for attempting to join the Islamic State by riding a boat to Indonesia.
Authorities captured the men on Tuesday as they were dragging a boat towards Cape York in far north Queensland and are under custody on suspicion of foreign incursion offences.
Shayden Thorne was also arrested. He is the brother of Junaid Thorne, who is another hard-hitting Islamist.
Police did not reveal how long it took the men to travel to the northern part of Australia from Melbourne but they have reason to believe they were attempting to travel to Syria through Indonesia and the Philippines to join the infamous terror group.
Neil Gaughan, the Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police (AFP), said that the men, aged 21 to 33 years old, were “very committed” to leave the country after their passports were cancelled previously, according to ABC News.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton of the Victoria Police said that the incident should not be toned down; as he says the men attempting to leave the country is a “security interest.”
“We can’t allow Australians to leave Australia and support terrorism anywhere,” Patton said. He also revealed that eight warrants have been implemented in Melbourne and Queensland on Tuesday afternoon.
Patton also dismissed making presumptions about whether or not the men are guilty of any crime and that they will simply wait for evidences and where these will take them, according to Stuff NZ.
Cerantonio was raised in west Melbourne as a Catholic with Italian heritage. He began hosting weekly Islamic classes that focused on Islam essentials and adherence to the Koran in Caroline Springs in mid-2015.
He made his first Facebook post since returning to Australia in January, a video that showed him condemning homosexuals.