Australian police foil New Year's Eve terror plot in Melbourne

29 November, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Federation Square

Vision has emerged of the moment heavily armed police pounced on the 20-year-old Somali-Australian accused of plotting a "catastrophic" terror attack in Melbourne's Federation Square.

Officials arrested Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, Monday for "preparing to commit a terrorist attack and gathering documents to facilitate a terrorist act", according to Australia's ABC News.

Thousands of revellers pack the square each year on New Year's Eve.

"The allegations are that he was planning to commit a terrorist act and that he attempted to obtain a gun to do so", Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said.

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"The operation is ongoing, however the main lines of enquiry have been completed and at this time police do not anticipate further arrests".

Keenan urged the public to continue with their usual routines over the period and expect to see a heavy police presence.

Authorities described Ali as a "high person of interest" whose activities they've been monitoring since January, BBC News reported.

The unnamed man was born in Australia to Somali parents, but was not linked to any mosque, according to Patton, and he had been monitored by the police since previous year as a "high-risk person of interest".

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The man worked part-time at a computer fix business and police raided the facility.

In a statement, they added that nobody else was expected to be arrested in connection with the alleged plot. He is still being interviewed by a joint police counter-terrorism team.

The man is the 74th suspect arrested in Australia in 31 counterterrorism investigations since Australia's terrorism threat level was elevated to "probable" in September 2014.

The police had kept a close eye on Ali's actions between the months of March and June and found that the college student downloaded instructions from an al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula website on how to launch a terrorist attack and how to use guns.

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