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Two arrested, including teenage girl, for alleged 'Islamic State' fundraising in Australia

In Sydney, a teenage girl and a 20-year-old man are set to be charged with funding terrorism. If convicted, the two face up to 25 years in prison.

Police in Australia said Tuesday that two people, including a 16-year-old girl, had been apprehended over allegations of raising money to support the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS). Authorities in the state of New South Wales issued a warning against the "trend of teenage children" getting involved in such crimes.

"We anticipate that both these people will be charged later today and attend court and the charge that we anticipate they will have is one of financing terrorism," said state police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn in a press conference. "We will be alleging that they were involved in obtaining money to send offshore to assist the "Islamic State" in its activities.

"The 16-year-old girl is not somebody who is well-known to us, however it is disturbing that we are continuing to see a trend of teenage children involved in activities that they should really not be involved in at all."

If convicted, the teenager and her fellow suspect, a 20-year-old male, face a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

Australia on high alert

Australian authorities have been on high alert for homegrown terrorism since September 2014 when police shot and killed a teenager in Melbourne who attacked two counterterrorism officers with a knife. Three months later, two hostages and an Islamist gunman were killed when the gunman took over a Lindt cafe in downtown Sydney.

While Canberra has said an estimated 50 million Australian dollars ($38 million/33.7 million euros) has left the country under suspicious circumstances, Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan told the public there was no need for immediate security concerns.

"The charges these two people are expected to face relate to their alleged activities in raising funds and attempting to transfer those funds to an overseas terrorist organization," and not charges of planning an imminent attack, he said in a statement.

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