Australian authorities have successfully stopped a terrorist plot to down an airliner, with police raids in Sydney.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull described the raids as a “major joint counter-terrorism operation”, which has seen the arrest of four people, and the seizure of a “considerable amount” of material. This material would’ve been used to create an “improvised device” to use in the attack.
Those arrested were found as a part of the raids in the Sydney suburbs of:
- Victoria Street, Punchbowl
- Renown Avenue, Wiley Park
- Goodlet Lane, Surry Hills
- Sproule Street, Lakemba
Police have found no concrete evidence to suggest where and when the attack would’ve been carried out.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin stated in an interview that the four arrested Lebanese Australians supposedly had links to an extremist Islamic-inspired plot.
The people detained have been named today by The Australian newspaper. The Australian states that the attack was “orchestrated by Islamic State militants from within Syria”, and there is a possibility that the attack was going to be carried out by “gassing the passengers”.
Reports also suggest that the men attempted to board an international flight with a device and failed, changing their point of attack to a domestic flight.
They are yet to be charged, however an extended detention was granted which can see a seven-day detention without charge.
Despite Justice Minister Michael Keenan refusing to confirm nor deny the reports, he had this to say in an interview with The 7.30 Report:
“Once we got information that there was something brewing within the Australian community that required our attention. Now, we get intelligence through an enormous number of different sources… we analyse that and take appropriate action”
Police will continue to gather evidence from the homes of those arrested, to build a more concrete picture of the attack that was planned, and to possibly charge them.