Five men in custody
Five individuals are in custody after Australian police thwarted an attempted Christmas Day bombing.
According to the BBC:
Five men are in custody after early-morning raids on Friday, Victoria Police chief Graham Ashton said.
Mr Ashton said the threat involved “use of explosives” and other weapons including “knives or a firearm”.
The threat was to prominent city locations including Flinders St Station, Federation Square and St Paul’s Cathedral, he said.
Mr Ashton said there was no longer a threat to the public.
“We don’t have any threat over and above that threat that we’ve currently neutralised,” he said at a press conference.
Four of the five suspects in custody are of Lebanese origin, while the fifth has an Egyptian heritage. Suspects confirmed they were inspired by ISIS.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said police had disrupted a substantial terror plot.
“They want to frighten Australians, they want to divide Australians, they want us to turn on each other,” he said.
“But we will not let them.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the alleged plans “were not acts of faith”.
“They were in their planning, acts of evil,” he said.
Three of the five individuals have already been arraigned:
Three of five men accused of plotting a terrorist attack to take place in Melbourne’s CBD on Christmas Day have faced court.
Abdullah Chaarani, 26, Hamza Abbas, 21, and Ahmed Mohamed, 29, were all refused bail in Melbourne magistrates’ court on Friday afternoon and will return to court on 28 April, charged with engaging in acts in preparation for or planning of a terrorist attack. Two other men will appear before the court on Saturday.
Local authorities held a press conference:
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