Australia: Federal and State Police today said they had disruptive a terrorist attack in Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne. Seven people we arrested in raids overnight in a number of suburban locations.
Police told local media the alleged Christmas attack involved targeting several iconic Melbourne buildings and tourist attractions at the corner of Flinders Street and Swanson Street. Alleged targets included:
- Flinders Street Railway Station
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Federation Square
Federation Square is a central community meeting place for both official and unofficial events and can have thousands of people at larger events.
The area is also near the National Art Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and arts precinct.
Police said a Counter Terrorism Team working on the threat included approximately 400 police from Victoria, NSW, Western Australia and the AFP.
Victorian and Australian Federal Police released these details this morning:
Publish date: Friday, 23 December 2016, Publish time: 10:13am
Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) , and other agencies which form part of the Joint Counter Terrorism Team have conducted an operation in Melbourne.
Operation Kastelholm resulted in the arrest of six men and a woman and the execution of five warrants in the North West Metro Region last night.
Five men remain in custody.
- A 24-year-old man from Meadow Heights
- A 26-year-old man from Dallas
- A 22-year-old man from Campbellfield
- A 21-year-old man from Flemington
- A 21-year-old man from Gladstone Park
A 20-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man, both from Meadow Heights, have been released without charge.
It will be alleged four of the men arrested were involved in undertaking preparations for planning a terrorist act in Melbourne.
The operation is ongoing and further information will be made available at the appropriate time.
Victoria Police would like to reassure the community that the threat has been contained and there is no on-going threat.
Victoria has well tested, cooperative, counter terrorism and emergency management plans in place and constantly monitor and assess our preparedness to respond to a range of emergencies.
The Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team and the Counter Terrorism Command maintains strong links with the intelligence and other agencies that give us the best possible understanding of emergency issues.
The community should continue to go about their daily business and report any suspicious activity to triple zero (000), Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the National Security Hotlineon 1800 1234 00.
Victoria Police Media & AFP Media (Canberra)