Saturday, April 18, 2015

Five teenagers arrested in Australian terror plot

Five teenagers arrested in Australia were planning an terrorist attack next week at an event to mark the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli during World War 1, Prime Minister Tony Abbot has said.

More than 200 police were involved in a series of raids in Melbourne in the early hours of this morning.

Five men aged 18 and 19 were detained.

The run-up to this year's centenary has been marked by numerous television programmes and commemorations, sparking concerns that radicals may target the celebrations for a high-profile attack.

"There were a series of raids in metropolitan Melbourne. Five people were arrested," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

"Two will be charged with preparing a terrorist act.

"The act that we believe was in preparation involved attacks against police officers on ANZAC Day."

Senior police officials said that they found "edged weapons" including a sword and knife during the raids, but were confident the threat had been contained.

Australia has sent hundreds of soldiers to Iraq to help train forces fighting the self-sytled Islamic State, heightening concerns about reprisal attacks in the homeland.

Australia has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown Islamist radicals since last year.

Canberra raised the national terror threat level to "high" for the first time last September, when hundreds of police conducted raids after receiving information that IS supporters planned to carry out a public beheading.

Australia believes at least 70 of its citizens are fighting with the IS group in Syria and Iraq, backed by about 100 Australia-based "facilitators".

The suspects arrested today are believed to have at the very least taken their inspiration from Islamic State, which has proven adept at recruiting from Western countries.

"We believe the attack was inspired by the Daesh death cult in the Middle East," Abbott said, using an Arabic term for Islamic State.

Victorian state Premier Daniel Andrews said the threat had been contained and condemned what he called an "evil" plan.

"These people are not people of faith. They do not represent any culture," Mr Andrews told reporters. "They are ... acts of evil. It is as simple as that."

All five suspects are "associates" of Abdul Numan Haider, a teenage Islamic State sympathiser who was shot dead by police in Melbourne last year after he stabbed police officers.
Related ANZAC Day:

1 comment :

  1. Australian police arrested five men in counter-terrorism raids in the state of Victoria on Saturday morning, two in relation to an alleged planned attack at a ceremony commemorating a World War I battle in Turkey...

    The Sydney Morning Herald reported that an 18-year-old man had been charged with "conspiring to plan a terrorist attack" following multiple raids across Melbourne.

    Police said the two men were planning a Daesh-inspired attack at a Melbourne ANZAC Day event.

    ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, many of whom fought in the 1915 Battle of Canakkale - known as Gallipoli in Australia. The ANZAC legend is central to the Australian identity.

    Police said a third man was arrested on weapons offences, and two others were in custody assisting police.

    All of the men are understood to be


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