Teen arrested in Australia over alleged terror plot
An Australian teenager has been charged after a counter-terror raid in Melbourne, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying a bomb plot was in a “reasonably advanced state of preparation”.
Police raided homes in Melbourne’s north on Friday, detonating three suspected explosive devices and arresting and charging a 17-year-old over preparations for a terror act.
“There is evidence of a bomb plot that was in a reasonably advanced state of preparation,” Abbott told reporters, adding that “there’s been at least one arrest”.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleged the teenager arrested was “undertaking preparations for planning a terrorist act in Australia.”
They refused to confirm reports that an attack was planned for Melbourne on Sunday, which is Mother’s Day in Australia, saying they could not yet say when or where the alleged act would occur.
“But let me tell you, something was going to happen,” AFP Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan told a press conference in Melbourne.
“As a result of Victoria police and AFP interception yesterday, some Victorians are going to be alive because of it. Had we not intervened, there was a real threat of action being taken.”
Police said they would not be naming the teenager who had been charged, but said he was expected to face court on Monday.
Australia raised its threat level to high last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids, with alarm fuelled by the departure of more than 100 of its nationals to Iraq and Syria to fight with Islamic State jihadists.