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Malaysian man who 'used Australia as step-off point for sending fighters to join ISIS terrorists in Syria' arrested after being deported

Counterterrorism police arrested Omar Ammouche, 33, and Jibryl Almaouie, 21, in southwest Sydney as part of an ongoing investigation; Ammouche is said to be an associate of Islamic State jihadist Khaled Sharrouf. Melbourne Airport reopened after being evacuated due to a security threat.

The sixth issue of Dabiq, the Islamic State's English-language magazine, praised the deadly siege of a Sydney cafe by Man Haron Monis, and claimed that he had heeded the Islamic State's call. Ahmad Mohamad al-Ghaz'zaoui, a Lebanese man from Sydney, has reportedly been killed in Syria while in the ranks of the Islamic State; he was not on Australia's watch list.

Security officials have detected "a heightened level of terrorist chatter" following last week's deadly siege of a Sydney cafe by Man Haron Monis, an Islamic State sympathizer. Authorities have not yet classified the incident as a terrorist attack. A judge revoked bail for Monis' partner, Amirah Droudis, as she posed "an unacceptable risk." In an ongoing operation, antiterrorism police arrested two men in Sydney thought to be planning an attack against government targets.

Prime Minister Abbott ordered an investigation into the Dec. 16 siege at a Sydney cafe by Man Haron Monis, an Iranian Sunni extremist who had been accused of violent crimes and was out on bail, that left three people dead and several others wounded. Iran claimed that it had asked Australia to extradite Monis 12 years ago.

In Sydney Hostage Siege, Australia's New Anti-Terrorism Measures Proved Ineffective

Sydney siege over: Lindt cafe gunman forces hostages to appear in videos

Police stormed a cafe in downtown Sydney where Man Haron Monis, an Iranian self-styled cleric and known criminal, was holding hostages for 16 hours after forcing them to display an Islamist flag at the cafe window. Monis and two hostages were killed and a number of hostages were injured; others managed to escape. During the siege, Monis, a convert from Shia to Sunni Islam, had demanded that an Islamic State flag be delivered to the cafe.

A number of businesses in central Sydney were evacuated as a hostage situation unfolded in a downtown cafe, where hostages inside were forced to display an Islamist flag at the window. Three hostages have escaped. In a separate matter, two men who had been detained during counterterrorism raids in September were charged; one of them is accused of funding a terrorist group.

A Sydney court rejected appeals by five members of the Pendennis terrorist cell against their convictions and sentences. Another member of the cell, Khaled Sharrouf, left for Syria last year to join the Islamic State. Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand, an Afghan who become an Australian citizen in 2007, pled guilty on Dec. 8 to stealing a passport; he was arrested in August while trying to travel to Syria to fight alongside Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar for the Islamic State.

Russia claims Islamic State is supplying half of all Afghan heroin coming to Europe

Canadian military mum on CF-18 inflicted casualties

Immigration Minister Morrison reached out to the family of four brothers from Sydney said to have gone to Turkey to join the Islamic State in Syria; he also urged citizens to call a hotline to report any suspected terrorist activities. Over 60 Australians are known to be currently fighting abroad.

Banks are scaling back on overseas remittance services as government seeks to cut off terrorist funding sources; the New South Wales Crime Commission's latest report revealed that in one case that may have involved financing of terrorism in Syria and Iraq, a single remitter sent over $265 million overseas during an eight-year period. Ali al-Hasanat, an Australian resident with a criminal record who was deported to Jordan, is facing trial in Jordan for threatening to kill Australian tourists and bomb the Australian Embassy in Amman.

Prime Minister Abbott said that 200 Australian special forces troops will be moving into Iraq; they had been waiting for clearance in the UAE for over a month. The Defense Ministry declined to speculate on further troop commitments.

Authorities are seeking to determine the veracity of reports that an Australian man has died in Syria fighting for the Islamic State; if confirmed, it will be the third such incident in a month. The Islamic State and the Al Nusrah Front have seized thousands of hectares of cropland in Syria and Iraq developed by a longterm multimillion-dollar Australian government program.

A Shia Muslim man was shot outside an Islamic center in southwest Sydney, reportedly by local Islamic State supporters. Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar, two Australians who joined the Islamic State in Syria in late 2013, have been linked to Australian construction kingpin George Alex, who is currently under investigation for corrupt business practices.

Taliban return to Afghan town that rose up and drove out its leaders

Australia trying to confirm death of IS militant Mohammad Ali Baryalei

Who are the members of the coalition against ISIS?