The Daily Telegraph
THE husband of controversial Muslim woman Carnita Matthews is one of two people arrested today for sending Australians to fight on the front lines of Syria's civil war.
Hamdi Alqudsi, 39, was arrested at his St Helen's Park home, at the same time police were arresting a 23-year-old man in Lidcombe.
Alqudsi is the husband of Ms Matthews' who is best known for her run in with police, when she refused to remove her burqa during a random breath test, two years ago.
The pair has several children between them
Police allege Alqudsi organised travel and arranged overseas contacts for six Australians to fight in Syria.
This allegedly included fighting with the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra and affiliates of al-Qaeda.
NSW commissioner of special operations Catherine Burn told reporters in Sydney the arrests are notable.
``We have identified who we believe is the principal person involved in the facilitation method of sending people over to Syria to engage in the conflict,'' she said.
``That puts a significant dent into this particular network.''
Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner of national security Peter Drennan said the men were not involved in any terrorism threat against Australia.
But he said people travelling to Syria to fight were engaging in illegal activity and could find themselves associating with terrorists.
While police are confident they have dismantled this particular syndicate, he said they expected further arrests and would continue to investigate.
Mr Drennan said around 100 Australians are suspected of being involved in the Syrian conflict at the moment.
'`Our real concern is to get a handle on the number of people going, where they are going, and if possible firstly to prevent them going,'' he said.
He said investigations were ongoing into the five men whom the group allegedly organised.
Alqudsi and the other man are due to face court later today.