Two people arrested in Australia over terror plot
A man and a teenage boy were busted in Australia over a terror plot to target a government building.
The pair, a 20-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy, were arrested in their homes in Sydney during counter-terrorism raids on Thursday.
According to the Australian Federal Police’s deputy commissioner for national security, Michael Phelan, the suspects were arrested thanks to evidence gathered during raids late last year in which 15 suspects were arrested over an alleged plot to kidnap and behead a man. Three other people are already in jail for the same case, police said.
“Last December, there were a number of documents seized as related to the search warrants we undertook in Sydney and those documents clearly talked about a plan and there was government buildings named in those plans,” he said, adding that one of the buildings was one of the Australian Federal Police offices.
The arrests were part of Operation Appleby, an ongoing investigation in Australia probing people suspected of being involved in domestic acts of terrorism and foreign incursions into Syria and Iraq, and financially supporting terrorist organizations such as the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Phelan also said police did not believe the plot was motivated by a directive from the terror group.
According to an October report by the Australian government, over 120 Australians have joined the ranks of Daesh in the Middle East and more than 150 of the country’s nationals are currently supporting Takfiri terrorists financially.
Moreover, some 288 others have been prevented from leaving Australia over the past nine months, the Australian police say.
The Australian government has ratified a law criminalizing travel to Daesh strongholds, including those in Syria and Iraq. Individuals charged with the crime could face up to 10 years in prison.