Officers arrest man accused Melbourne New Year's attack
Tuesday November 28, 2017 - 15:00:00 in English News by Burhan Editor
A 20-year-old Australian citizen has been arrested for plotting a shooting rampage in Melbourne's central square while it is packed with New Year's Eve revelers.
Police say he was inspired by jihadist terrorists and associated with a local "extremist community."
The man was rounded up during a special operation by police conducted at around 3 pm Monday local time [4 am GMT] in Werribee, some 32 kilometers southwest of Melbourne, where he lived with his Somali parents, police reported.
The suspect, who was born and raised in Australia, was handed over by police to a joint counter-terrorism team for interrogation.
"He was engaged in acting preparation for a terrorist offense and also collecting materials, documents to facilitate a terrorist act,” Victoria Police deputy commissioner Shane Patton told the media, speaking on the essence of the charges.
"What we will be alleging is that he was intending to use a firearm to shoot and kill as many people as he could in a Federation Square area on New Year’s Eve,” Patton said.
The carnage was supposed to unravel at the Federation Square in downtown Melbourne, which is usually flooded with tens of thousands of people on December 31, celebrating the arrival of a new year.
Patton revealed that police had been watching the man "for a very lengthy period of time” before the raid, for about a year. Police also searched his family’s home in Werribee, while about a dozen police officers raided a computer store where the man was working for a couple hours a day to gain a working experience.
Since the country’s terrorism threat level was upped in 2014, the police launched some 347 counter-terrorism probes, charging a total of 74 people with terrorism-related offences.
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