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04 Dec 2018

Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja's brother arrested over fake terror plot

Arsalan Khawaja, the brother of Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja, has been arrested in Sydney by counter-terrorism forces over a fake terror plot.

The 39-year-old has been accused of framing a former colleague as the author of a fake terror hit list that included plans to assassinate former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Here are the details.

In context

Usman Khwaja's brother has been arrested: Details here
In August, police had discovered an alleged terror plot


In August, police had discovered an alleged terror plot

In August this year, Australian police had detained a Sri Lankan student, Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, over an alleged terror plot found in a notebook.

Apart from having former PM Malcolm Turnbull's name, the fake terror hit list had included former foreign minister Julie Bishop, and several major landmarks including the Sydney Opera House.

Nizamdeen was kept in solitary confinement for a month before being released.

Set up

Why Nizamdeen had been set up

Nizamdeen was released after police failed to match his handwriting to the penned down terror plot.

For his part, the 25-year-old PhD student claimed that he had been set up by Khawaja, who worked in the same department at the University of New South Wales as him

The reason? Police say that Khawaja was partly motivated by a "personal grievance" over a woman.

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Khawaja has been charged with forgery, perversion of justice

Other details

Khawaja has been charged with forgery, perversion of justice

While Australian police have apologized for Nizamdeen's wrongful detainment, the Sri Lankan is reportedly looking to sue the police and file for compensation.

Meanwhile, Khawaja has been charged with forgery and attempting to pervert justice.

Police had earlier questioned Khawaja over the notebook, and had searched his residence.

The probe against Khawaja reportedly cost an enormous amount of resources.

What Usman Khawaja had to say about his brother's arrest

"I won't be saying much guys. It is a matter for the police to deal with. Out of respect for the process, it'd be inappropriate for me to make any further comment. I just ask you to please respect my privacy and my family's privacy," said Usman Khawaja.

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