SYDNEY, Australia, AFP
Australian Federal Police (AFP) and their Victoria state counterparts raided a home in the north Melbourne suburb of Greenvale on Friday, arresting and charging a 17-year-old male. “We’ll allege the teenager was undertaking preparations to undertake a terrorism act as well as possessing things that relate to the commission of a terrorism act,” AFP Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan said.
“These are extremely serious offences and they did involve the use of improvised explosive devices.” Police said they had seen reports suggesting that an attack was planned for Melbourne on Sunday, which is Mother’s Day in Australia, but that they could not yet say when or where the alleged act was to occur. “But let me tell you, something was going to happen,” 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 charged due to his age, but said he was expected to face a closed court on Monday. But Phelan said the teenager came from a loving family and it was deeply troubling to police that young people were becoming so disaffected they were considering endangering the lives of many Australians.
It is the second alleged attack believed to have been foiled in Victoria in recent weeks, after police arrested two men late last month for allegedly planning an Islamic State-inspired attack on Anzac Day commemorations honouring Australian soldiers. Police said the two cases were not thought to be related. They said they were still investigating the motivations for the latest alleged offence, but said the suspected explosive devices appeared very rudimentary.