A Melbourne youth has been apprehended after police discovered plans to attack a target in the Australia's biggest city. The man had previously been stopped at Sydney airport for trying to travel to Syria, police said.
Australian officials announced on Tuesday that they had apprehended an 18-year-old in Melbourne over an allegedly "imminent" terror plot. According to police, the arrest occurred as officers were raiding properties in a separate anti-terrorism operation.
Federal police said that the suspect had been investigating possible attack targets in Sydney. He had also been trying to acquire a firearm, they added.
The young man had been on the police watch list since February, Attorney General George Brandis told the press. At that time, he was stopped in Sydney airport with a cancelled passport as he attempted to travel to Syria to join a jihadist group.
"Since that time, he has been under the surveillance of the relevant authorities who have decided this morning to act to prevent an imminent terrorist event," George Brandis told reporters.
Anti-terrorism forces in Australia have made a number of arrests, including a number of young and even underage individuals, since late 2014. Among them was a 16-year-old boy who had been preparing to attack services for Anzac Day, a national holiday in late April which honors soldiers. Another raid in Melbourne last year uncovered improvised explosive devices made by a 17-year-old in his family home.
Police said that Tuesday's arrest was not the purpose of a series of raids carried out across Australia's second-largest city on Tuesday. Rather, authorities had been making searches connected to five men who were detained last week over a plan to flee the country by boat to Indonesia, en route to joining militant organizations in Syria.
es/kl (AFP, AP)