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Khawaja's brother arrested over fake terror plot

Khawaja's brother arrested over fake terror plot

Police have charged Arsalan Khawaja, brother of Australian Test cricketer Usman Khawaja, with attempting to pervert justice and forgery over a notebook that supposedly contained a terror hit list targeting federal politicians and places in Sydney.

"He will be spoken to in relation to the alleged attempt to pervert justice, and forgery - making a false document", NSW Police said in a statement.

Authorities swung into action in August after a handwritten book was found at the University of New South Wales in August, outlining alleged plans for a series of attacks. Nizamdeen, speaking from his native Sri Lanka, later described the police operation which led to his arrest as "immature, embarrassing and biased".

In a volte-face, authorities dropped all charges against the PhD student in October, when a handwriting expert found there was no "conclusive" proof that the writing in the notebook was Nizamdeen's.

Khawaja, 39, was arrested in Parramatta at 8.30am today following a three-month investigation by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team.

"We feel very sorry for [Nizamdeen] and what was happened to him but what we will be alleging is that he was set up in a planned and calculated manner", he told reporters in Sydney.

Australian police now say they "regret" arresting and holding Nizamdeen, and have paid his court costs.




The "terror hit list" allegedly included high-profile local targets such as Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

"We have no information to suggest that there is any ongoing threat to the community arising from our inquiries into the matter". "Out of respect for the process it'd be inappropriate for me to be making any further comment".

Police have now arrested Arsalan Khawaja, and will allege that the creation of the notebook was related to a "personal grievance" between him and Nizamdeen over a woman.

"I just ask for you to please respect my privacy and my family's privacy at this time".

Nizamdeen's exact relationship with Khawaja has not been stated by police.

As Australia prepare for Thursday's opening Test against India in Adelaide, Usman Khawaja fronted the media to address the situation.