Homeland Security Network Blog
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New Year’s Eve terror plot thwarted
COUNTER-TERROR police have arrested a 20-year-old man at a home in Victoria over an alleged plot to carry out a terrorist mass shooting attack on News Year’s Eve.
Ben Graham and AAP
POLICE believe they have thwarted a New Year’s Eve attack in Melbourne’s Federation Square after a dramatic arrest yesterday
A 20-year-old was arrested by at a house in Werribee about 3pm on Monday by Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police and ASIO officers.
He is currently being interviewed in relation to the offences of preparing to commit a terrorist attack and collecting documents to facilitate a terrorist act.
In a press conference this morning, Victoria Police say the man allegedly plotted to obtain a firearm to “shoot and kill as many people as he could” at Melbourne’s Federation Square on New Year’s Eve.
“The allegations are that he was planning to commit a terrorist act and that he attempted to obtain a gun to do so,” Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said in a press conference this morning.
“What we will be alleging is that he was intending to use a firearm to shoot and kill as many people as he could in the Federation Square area on New Year’s Eve.”
“The male is one of our high-risk persons of interest. We have been monitoring him for a very lengthy period of time.
The man is being interviewed in relation to the offences of preparing to commit a terrorist attack and collecting documents to facilitate a terrorist act. It’s alleged the man accessed a guidebook produced by al-Qaeda containing information on how to commit a terrorist act and use firearms, guns and handguns and rifles.
Authorities were keen to stress that no firearm was obtained. But if the attack had been successful the human cost would have been “catastrophic ...horrendous”, Mr Patton said.
The man is also believed to be associated with a group of Victorian extremists. “We won’t identify who they are. It is a very small community of extremist,” Mr Patton said.