Counter-terrorism police searched two Melbourne homes on Thursday that are reportedly linked to an Australian man who has posed as a physiotherapist working in an Islamic State hospital in Syria.
The houses in Meadow Heights and Craigieburn were searched by police looking for information about Mohomed Unais Mohomed Ameen, the ABC reported.
Australian Federal Police confirmed the Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team carried out the searches but would not comment further, other than to say there was no immediate danger to the community.
Sri Lankan-born Ameen appeared alongside Australian doctor Tareq Kamleh in an Islamic State propaganda video in April last year, in which he claimed to work in the physiotherapy unit of a hospital run by the jihadist group in its de facto Syrian capital, Al-Raqqah.
Attention at the time focused on Kamleh, who urged other Muslim doctors to join him in Syria and has since had his medical registration suspended and a warrant for his arrest issued.
But the ABC has now reported that 41-year-old Ameen was also an Australian, and lived in the country for over 10 years before joining Islamic State.
He reportedly arrived in the country on a student visa in 2001 and gained citizenship after marrying an Australian woman. The two houses raided on Thursday belonged to Ameen’s ex-wives, it reported.
The ABC reported Ameen travelled to Syria in May 2014, and that the details of his Australian passport appeared in a number of reports listing foreigners who had allegedly been detained by Turkish authorities and then allowed to cross into Syria.
Despite claiming to be a physiotherapist, the ABC said Ameen actually had no medical training, and had been studying for a diploma in sports coaching in Melbourne before leaving for Syria.
In the propaganda video, Ameen explains there are doctors from “many other countries” and that he was treating up to 500 patients a week.
“i would like to take this opportunity to call my brothers and sisters who have the medical background, medical knowledge, qualified or semi-qualified,” he says in the video.
“we need the brothers and sisters to come and help us, from all around the world, we just need the manpower…in any medical field.
“help us grow…for the sake of allah.”
The ABC reported Ameen was involved in the radical Al Furqan bookshop in Springvale, which has been linked to a number of extremists including Australian Islamic State recruiter Neil Prakash, and Numan Haider, who attacked police in Endeavour Hills in 2014 and was shot dead. (The Age)