Arrest warrant issued for Oliver Bridgeman
BREAKING: The Australian Federal Police have issued an arrest warrant for Toowoomba teenager Oliver Bridgeman who is currently in Syria.
Two officers attended the Toowoomba home of his parents to inform them about the warrant.
Mr Bridgeman is suspected of committing offences against Australian laws prohibiting "incursions into foreign countries with the intention of engaging in hostile activities".
That is a breach of Section 119.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act (1995).
The warrant means officers will have extra powers to intercept Mr Bridgeman and he can be flagged internationally as a wanted person.
An AFP spokesman confirmed the Brisbane Joint Counter Terrorism Team had obtained an arrest warrant for Oliver Bridgeman.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently cancelled his passport as he was preparing to return to the country.
The department's position was that if Mr Bridgeman continued to hold an Australian passport, he "would be likely to engage in conduct that might prejudice the security of Australia or a foreign country" and that its cancellation would "prevent him from engaging in the conduct".
Mr Bridgeman's lawyer Alex Jones has repeatedly stated there is no evidence his client has committed any offences.
Mr Jones lodged an appeal against the department's decision on Monday.
The teenager travelled to Syria last year and has since been working with charity group Live Updates From Syria.
The country has been engulfed by civil war since March 15, 2011.
Concerns have been raised that Mr Bridgeman may support rebel groups ideologically and he has been closely watched by intelligence agencies and law enforcement bodies.
An Australian Security Intelligence Organisation statement reads: "Mr Bridgeman likely remains ideologically supportive of politically motivated violence and would be likely to engage in conduct that might prejudice the security of Australia."
The AFP declined to comment further on Mr Bridgeman's case, with a spokesman saying as the matter was ongoing, and yet to be tested before a court, it would not be appropriate for the AFP to comment further.
Mr Bridgeman has appeared in numerous online videos for Live Updates From Syria, many of which show him delivering aid.
In the past he has accused media outlets of blowing his stay in Syria "out of proportion" and lying about his activities.
"I am not associated or fighting for any terrorist organisation or rebel group inside or outside Syria," he wrote in June last year.
"My only activity in Syria is the distribution of medical supplies, food and basic life essentials inside the rural parts and Turkish borders of Syria."
On Friday he wrote: "No matter what the Australian government say or do, they know that I'm here to help humanity and especially the people of Syria."
Videos have shown him close to the conflict and on one occasion during a visit to the town of Latakia he narrowly avoided being hit by a Russian airstrike.
Recently he was shown inspecting the ruins of buildings hit by bombs in Aleppo.