Police brace for terror rally

A heavy police presence is expected at a snap protest in Sydney’s west against the series of pre-dawn anti-terrorism raids.

The protest, promoted under a banner featuring the hardline organisation Hizb Ut-Tahrir, is calling on the Muslim community to “stand as one” against “government aggression” at Lakemba, in Sydney’s west, on Thursday night.

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The event, starting from 7pm (AEST), has been shared across social media and more than 3000 people have been invited.

Police arrest a suspect in Sydney's north-west suburbs.

Police arrest a suspect in Sydney’s north-west suburbs.

It comes after 15 people were detained during the largest counter-terrorism operation in Australian history.

More than 800 NSW and Australian Federal Police officers raided properties on Thursday morning across the suburbs of Beecroft, Bella Vista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.

Police have braced for a backlash by launching Operation Hammerhead, which is targeting any acts of retribution.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione confirmed officers tied to the operation would be at the protest at Lakemba station.

“You can be certain that Hammerhead will be showing any activity like that, in western Sydney, or anywhere else their full attention,” he said.

Mr Scipione said people were entitled to protest but had to obey the law.

“If people break the law, they’ll be dealt with,” he said.

Mr Scipione said anyone who chose to turn on Muslim communities would need to realise they would attract police attention.

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