The suspect was arrested in Perth
Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 01:07 GMT
Australia charges 'anti-Israeli plotter'
Australian police have charged a man with planning to blow up Israeli diplomatic premises in Australia, the man's lawyer has said.
The 49-year-old suspect will appear in court in Perth on Tuesday in connection with the alleged plot, his lawyer said.
The man's arrest follows a series of raids by Australian police in the wake of the 12 October bombings in the Indonesian resort of Bali, in which nearly 200 people died.
A police spokesman said the arrest was not connected with the attack in Indonesia.
The lawyer, Robert Mazza told Australian radio that his client has been charged with "intentionally plan[ning] to destroy or damage the Israeli embassy in Canberra and the Israeli consulate in Sydney".
Australian Federal Police said the man had been charged with conspiracy to bomb diplomatic premises.
The police refused to confirm the suspect's identity, but Australian media named the man as Jack Roche.
Media reports said Mr Roche was born in the UK and converted to Islam.
Support for cleric
According to the French news agency AFP, Mr Roche was one of a number of people arrested by Australian police in raids on homes in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney earlier this month.
Those raids targeted suspected sympathisers of the shadowy Jemaah Islamiah group, which has been linked to the Bali bombings.
During the police crackdown Mr Roche told Australian ABC radio that he was a supporter of radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, accused by several governments of leading Jemaah Islamiah.
Mr Roche said he met Mr Ba'asyir in the mid-1990s when the cleric visited Australia.
"I liked what he was saying. It was very clear. It all made sense," he told the radio.
Mr Roche said Mr Ba'asyir's talks only covered religious topics and he denied having any links with terrorist organisations.