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    Alleged "tinnie terrorists" extradited from Cairns to Melbourne

    They have been ridiculed for their attempt to get all the way to Syria via Cape York on a tinnie, but these alleged terrorists may have committed a serious crime - and potentially face life in prison.

    UPDATE: Five men arrested on terrorism-related charges near Laura last week will be extradited back to Melbourne following a court appearance at Cairns Magistrates Court this afternoon.

    After delays caused by confusion over one of the men's legal representation, an application for extradition by the Federal Police was today approved in Cairns Magistrates Court.

    Islamic preacher Robert “Musa” Cerantonio, Shayden Thorne, Kadir Kaya, Antonio Grenata and Paul Dacre will now return to their home state of Victoria where they will face one count each of making preparations for incursions into foreign countries for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

    The men, aged between 21 and 31, will face court in Melbourne on Thursday.

    EARLIER: Five men arrested last Tuesday while towing a dinghy near Cairns as part of their journey to join Islamic State could face life in prison.

    The five men from Melbourne, including Islamic preacher Musa Cerantonio, were charged on Saturday night with terrorism-related offences after being held without charge since their arrest nearly 6 days ago.

    Police formally charged the men with one count each of making preparations for incursions into foreign countries to engage in hostile activities and could face life in prison if convicted.

    The five men are aged between 21 and 31 and remain in custody until their appearance in Cairns Magistrates' Court today.

    Attorney-General George Brandis this morning confirmed the men had been under surveillance for months, with authorities tracking their movements that led to their arrests north of Cairns on Tuesday.

    Mr Brandis also said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had cancelled the men's passports at the request of the AFP several months ago.

    "Obviously there was at one level an unusual character to the plot, I know it has been ridiculed but these are serious crimes because they involved preparation to engage in terrorist war fighting overseas and that is against Australian law," Mr Brandis said.