My son is not a terrorist, says devastated mum

A former journalist accused of plotting a terror attack in the Bundaberg region sought gun training as part of his plan, police allege.

James Michael Waugh is in custody after police allegedly found extremist documents at his home during a raid earlier this month.

The 29-year-old was arrested on Friday after a Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team operation.

But his devastated mother, Karina Anderson, has taken to social media to declare her son is not a terrorist.

Waugh is charged with acting in preparation of a terrorist attack, by taking steps to seek out firearms training, on September 3.

His case was mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday.

"That's a really serious allegation," Magistrate Zac Sarra said.

 

James Michael Waugh is charged with acting in preparation of a terrorist attack
James Michael Waugh is charged with acting in preparation of a terrorist attack

 

Waugh's lawyer did not require him to be brought into the courtroom, and he did not apply for bail when the terrorism charge was mentioned.

According to Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Police Service, Waugh first caused concern after he allegedly threatened a member of the public, prompting a search of his property on November 3.

A number of electronic devices and a notebook were seized by police at the address for evidentiary purposes, police allege.

The electronic devices allegedly contained documents indicating a desire to undertake acts of violent extremism.

Mrs Anderson, was at the court, but left before her son's case was mentioned, after speaking to his lawyer.

She said on Facebook that she felt "broken'' after hearing her son had been charged.

On Friday Mrs Anderson also posted: "Our boy just called from the police station. He broke down and cried.

"Told me to get a good job … Tell everyone he loves them … I pray no family ever goes through this pain.''

 

The accused’s parents Mark and Karina Anderson leave Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: Attila Csaszar/NCA NewsWire
The accused’s parents Mark and Karina Anderson leave Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: Attila Csaszar/NCA NewsWire

 

Waugh's case is due back in court next Friday.

Waugh was a journalist at the Queanbeyan Age and Canberra Chronicle in mid to late 2018, and had access to the federal press gallery at Parliament House.

He is charged under section 101.6 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, which covers acts done in preparation for, or planning for, terrorist attacks. Under that section, a person commits an offence by doing any act in preparation for or planning for a terrorist attack.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

It is an offence even if a terrorist attack does not occur or the preparation or planning is not done for a specific terrorist attack or for more than one terrorist attack.

"The decision to charge this man was made to prevent a terrorist attack in Australia and to protect the community," AFP Assistant Commissioner Terrorism Scott Lee said.

The Queensland Joint Counter Terrorism Team includes members from the AFP, QPS and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

 

 

 

Originally published as My son is not a terrorist, says devastated mum



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