ABC headquarters in Sydney raided by Australian Federal Police

Walkley Award-winning journalist Annika Smethurst has been raided by the Australian Federal Police

Camera Icon Walkley Award-winning journalist Annika Smethurst has been raided by the Australian Federal Police

John Lyons (second right), Executive Editor of ABC News, watches as two Australian Federal Police officers cross the road outside the ABC building.

They have also asserted that there is no link between the ABC raid and the raid on Smethurst's property yesterday.

The power of the police to search through thousands of emails of journalists in search of sources shocked CNN's chief media reporter Brian Stelter.

Australia's federal police raided the home of a prominent journalist in a suburb of Canberra in a probe on unauthorised disclosure of national security information June 4, 2019.

According to the ABC Wednesday's search is about the 2017 investigative series known as The Afghan Files which "revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan".

They said the Sydney raid was "in relation to allegations of publishing classified material, contrary to provisions of the Crimes Act 1914".

"I have to say, sitting here watching police using a media organisation's computers to track everything to do with a legitimate story I can't help but think: this is a bad, sad and unsafe day for a country where we have for so long valued - and taken for granted - a free press", Lyons tweeted.

Australian police have raided the headquarters of the country's public broadcaster ABC.

Also appearing during the interview, Peter Greste, the former Al Jazeera journalist jailed for more than a year in Egypt on broad national security offences, said he was "shocked" by the raids.

"For the record, @DanielMOakes and @sclark_melbs are two of @abcnews' finest journalists", he tweeted.

"This was outstanding reporting - it was clearly in the public interest and sometimes hard truths have to be told", he said. "Just like @annikasmethurst. I'm proud of the hard work they all do".

On Tuesday, federal agents raided the home of Annika Smethurst, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph's political editor, after she published a story about alleged plans for increased surveillance of Australian citizens.

Under existing law, only the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the domestic spy agency, had that authority.

He said the raids sent a message to whistleblowers and it had "a very serious chilling effect". Not today, not tomorrow, next week or next month.

Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp. called the raid "outrageous and heavy handed", and "a risky act of intimidation". Today's raid comes after a story was published almost two years ago.

Asked if he was concerned about journalist's homes being raided, Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared: "It never troubles me that our laws are being upheld".

Latest News