Melbourne terror attack plot suspects arrested in police raids

| 20.11,18. 08:27 AM |

Melbourne terror attack plot suspects arrested in police raids

Three men arrested on suspicion of plotting a terror attack in Melbourne had tried to source a semi-automatic rifle to kill as many people as possible in a crowded space, police have alleged.

The men, who are aged between 21 and 30, are from the city's northern suburbs, and Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said police had been monitoring the men since March.

He said the men were arrested in counterterrorism raids this morning after police believed their intentions of carrying out a mass killing "escalated" this week.

Mr Ashton said the men had not decided on a specific location for the attack.

"There was a view towards a crowded place where maximum people would be attending to be able to kill, we allege, a maximum amount of people as possible," he said.

The raids were conducted by officers from Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and ASIO.

Mr Ashton declined to name the men, but said all three were Australian nationals whose passports were cancelled this year.

A 30-year-old man from Dallas, a 26-year-old man from Campbellfield and a 21-year-old man from Greenvale are being interviewed by police, who expect to lay charges today, Mr Ashton said.

"It will be alleged the three men arrested were involved in undertaking preparations for planning a terrorist act in Melbourne," Victoria Police said.

"Victoria Police would like to reassure the community that the threat has been contained and there is no ongoing threat."

Officers executed four warrants during the raids, which involved the search of a fourth property at Coolaroo, the statement said.

Police are urging the public to go about their normal business and report any suspicious activity to triple zero, or the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

The raids come as thousands of people are expected to attend a state funeral for restaurateur Sisto Malaspina, who was stabbed by an Islamic State-inspired attacker in Melbourne's Bourke Street on November 9.

Earlier this month, three men were found guilty of plotting to carry out a terror attack in Melbourne's CBD during the 2016 Christmas period.

More to come.

(Votes: 0)

Write Your Comment

Other News

Missing man found unresponsive beside a bike track in Sydney's south Severe thunderstorms bring damaging winds and large hail to south-east Queensland 'Good Samaritan' stabbed trying to save 7yo from sexual assault in Kogarah dance studio toilet Man who stabbed father to death over excessive computer use jailed for six years Muslims Australia – AFIC condemns in the strongest terms the actions of Israel in its continued killing of Palestinians Body of missing Hobart man Elson Kiddle found, no suspicious circumstances My Health Record: Greg Hunt bows to pressure and extends opt-out deadline as website hits issues Paul Keating says raising superannuation to 12 per cent will 'barely cut it' Bourke Street driver James Gargasoulas found guilty of six murders 'Popular and hardworking' Victorian worker dies after explosion at Yallourn Power Station قوى الأمن الداخلي: تعميم صورة مطلوب بجرم نشل، هل تعرفون عنه شيئاً؟ Man killed during riot in Ali Curung, as cars set on fire and up to 100 reported fighting Labor wants ATO to appeal to taxpayers' sense of fairness Murdered mother's last relationship, bag found at crime scene, of interest to police Ballarat police officer found guilty of assault against woman in custody, jury discharged over other counts Strawberry needle contamination: Accused woman motivated by spite, court hears Strawberry needle contamination scare: Queensland woman charged after months-long investigation Police fatally shoot man under guard at Ipswich Hospital Woman dies after minivan carrying six people rolls Motorbiker crashes, allegedly enters houses 'armed' with screwdriver Sharp objects found in South Australian strawberries Runaway, driverless train failed to respond to emergency stop attempt, interim report finds Police urge public to avoid Melbourne CBD after car fire in Bourke St Luke Foley resigns as NSW Labor Leader following ABC journalist's statement NSW Government commits $712 million to public school fund, signs up to federal deal Queensland tourism operators in uncharted waters after third Cid Harbour shark attack RBA shrugs off falling house prices, weak inflation to keep rates on hold at 1.5pc All-hours shopping to reinvigorate Sydney nightlife economy Petrol prices surge 20pc this year, but analysts say not much can be done about it Stamp duty overhaul in NSW is little comfort to current homebuyers, Opposition says