Federal cop grilled over terror probe

·3-min read

An AFP officer has admitted that an investigation into a NSW man over an alleged terrorist plot did not examine claimed links to drug dealers, crooked cops and former senator Fraser Anning.

Giving evidence to a Supreme Court jury trial on Tuesday, federal agent Christophe Boulay also said no action had been taken to notify the military after Joshua Lucas, 23, encouraged users on social media platform Telegram to annexe a base in Canberra before his arrest in March 14, 2020.

"Did you do anything to investigate his apparent interest in this facility?" asked Lucas' barrister Madeleine Avenell SC.

"No," Mr Boulay said.

"Why not?" asked Ms Avenell.

"He was arrested shortly after," Mr Boulay replied.

The AFP did not warn the military facility because the threat was not specific enough, the jury heard.

Despite being under AFP surveillance, Lucas was not trailed during a visit to Sydney Airport and a nearby Krispy Kreme on February 22, 2020, the court heard.

In a Telegram post, Lucas wrote that he had purchased a Pickle Rick donut at Krispy Kreme as a "meme" for his little brother. The Crown alleges he visited the store to take photographs of the airport's perimeter fence.

Mr Boulay said he had not been told that Lucas had visited the airport until February 23, and had not requested any CCTV camera footage because no reports of suspicious activity had been made.

Despite claiming on Telegram that he had a violent past where he had been stabbed and shot at, Mr Boulay said the AFP had not examined it as pretty much all aspects of the post were untrue.

"I've had c**** try to stab me a few times. I've been shot at. I put 15 rounds though someone's house ... If you f*** around, you'll get killed in Australia," Lucas wrote.

The federal officer said the investigation did not examine claims by Lucas that he had met with drug dealers who stole crates of Nike shoes, had heard of police who stole boxes of ammunition, and had met with Mr Anning.

These claims were either unsubstantiated or were outside of the scope of the terror investigation, he said.

Posts by Lucas that he had met with Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch gunman who murdered 51 people at two mosques in 2019, were looked into by the AFP, Mr Boulay told the court.

However, evidence obtained from Lucas' Samsung smartphone could not confirm whether this meeting had taken place, the jury heard.

The court was also shown images and tagged maps of synagogues and mosques that were recovered from Lucas' mobile.

Other Telegram posts shown to the jury included a song snippet that said, "If any of you faggots still talking then I'll machete your head with a Happy Gilmore swing" and a video of an automated Alexa-controlled gun cabinet that played rock music while opening.

Search warrants of homes and vehicles connected to Lucas in March 2020 saw over 300 items seized, including empty gel blaster boxes, a gel blaster magazine, sparkler shavings and purple granules.

The shavings were from commercially available Korbond Whiz Pop Bang sparklers, the court was told.

The jury heard that no other explosive substances, chemicals, igniters, blasting caps, bombs or bomb components were found in the search.

Ms Avenell has previously told the jury that Lucas did not have any criminal intent but was merely having a bit of fun and provoking people online.

The Crown alleges Lucas and his brother Benjamin Lucas, 25, searched for bomb-making recipes and detonated three makeshift explosive devices during their year-long preparation for a terror attack.

The brothers have both pleaded not guilty.

The trial before Justice Richard Button continues.

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