Australian counter-terror police said they arrested three men in raids across Sydney on Tuesday, foiling a plot inspired by Daesh for attacks targeting a range of public buildings and embassies. Reuters
Australian police on Tuesday arrested three men accused of links to Daesh over an alleged plot to attack police stations, embassies and defence facilities in central Sydney.
The men — aged 20, 23 and 30 — were arrested in raids in the city’s suburbs after their online activities raised suspicion.
Two of them will face charges of being members of a terrorist organisation and of preparations to carry out terror attacks.
“We will say that they had a number of targets, including police stations, defence establishments, embassies and councils, courts and churches,” Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney told reporters.
The plots were said to be in the “early stages,” but included moves to import weapons and explosives to target facilities in the central business district.
The third man — described as an “associate” — will be charged with lesser offences.
New South Wales police assistant commissioner Mick Willing said the men “knew each other via social media” including WhatsApp and Telegram, and shared a “like-minded philosophy.”
Late last year, Australia passed controversial laws allowing spy agencies and police to access encrypted communications from suspected criminals and terrorists.
Police said one of the suspects had come under the watch of authorities after returning from Lebanon last year, alleging he had made plans to go to Afghanistan to fight with the Islamic State.
Police said there was no further threat to the public.
Australia’s national broadcaster went to court on Monday to challenge a police raid on its offices and demand the return of files seized during the controversial operation.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will meet with executives from the national broadcaster on Tuesday as he sought to calm tensions following two police raids
Australian police on Wednesday said they had apprehended a British suspected drug offender, who tried to flee to Papua New Guinea on a jet ski.
Authorities on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria were set to evacuate more residents on Saturday as a forest fire broke out just days after another blaze raged in the same area.
A young homeless man has been charged with placing false bombs, police said Saturday, after three empty rice cookers caused major commuter disruption in New York.
The blast, which took place late Saturday in west Kabul, came as Washington and the Taliban are in the final stages of a deal to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan. The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.