Attack on Sydney home of anti-racism activist Paddy Gibson was ideologically motivated, police allege

Three men targeted the home of Black Lives Matter activist Paddy Gibson in an ideologically motivated attack, New South Wales counter-terrorism police allege.

Gibson was home with his partner in Sydney’s south in December last year when three men arrived and demanded to speak with him, before smashing a window and fleeing, police were told.

In a statement, NSW police confirmed local detectives had referred the investigation to the Joint Counter Terrorism Team, who arrested one man last month and two more on Wednesday.

“Police will allege in court that the men targeted the Arncliffe home due to the occupant’s political and ideological beliefs,” the statement said.

Gibson, an activist with the Solidarity socialist movement and a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney, had previously told Guardian Australia he believed the attack was ideologically motivated, but he did not wish to comment further while the police investigation continued.

According to court documents relating to one of the men, Maxwell Ferrer, it is alleged he identifies as a member of an extremist group and attended Gibson’s home with a prohibited weapon.

Ferrer, 31, is charged with affray, stalking or intimidating another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm, and possessing a prohibited weapon.

He is on bail, and appeared in Nowra local court earlier this month, but is yet to enter a plea.

Police allege in court documents that fingerprints belonging to him were found on damaged property at Gibson’s home.

The two other men allegedly involved in the incident also face charges of affray and stalking or intimidating another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm.

The pair were arrested after morning raids at two houses in Sydney on Wednesday morning. NSW police said that anti-gang and anti-riot squads were involved in the raids, which also resulted in the seizure of items “relevant to the investigation”.

One of the men, a 38-year-old arrested at Narellan police station, was denied bail and is expected to face court on Thursday.

A 32-year-old who was arrested at a Ryde home was granted strict conditional bail, to appear in court again next month, NSW police said.

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