Terrorist attack foiled in Australia

Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Ian Mc Cartney and Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Paton addresses the media

Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Ian Mc Cartney and Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Paton addresses the media

A man has been arrested by counter-terrorism police for allegedly plotting a New Year's Eve terror attack in Melbourne.

The 20-year-old man from Werribee meant to use a firearm to "kill as many people as he could" at Melbourne's Federation Square on New Year's Eve, but did not managed to obtain the firearm, police said.

"They seek to strike fear in the community when Australians are enjoying time over the Christmas period with their families and friends", he said, adding that there would be high-profile policing over the holiday period.

File image of Melbourne's Federation Square
File image of Melbourne's Federation Square

During a media conference this morning, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton alleged the young man's intentions were to cause mass carnage.

Ali reportedly accessed documents produced by Al Qaeda, including a guidebook detailing "how to commit a terroristic attack and how to use firearms".

Police arrested the man - a Muslim born to Somali parents - after he attempted to purchase an automatic rifle.

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Ali, 20, was charged Tuesday with gathering documents for and preparing to commit a terrorist attack.

Furthermore, the arrest is not linked to any previous operational activity.

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

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Search warrants were issued on Monday at a home in a suburb where the suspect lived with his parents and siblings, at a relative's address in another suburb, and at a computer business where he once had a part-time job.

In the exclusive amateur video, obtained by A Current Affair, Special Operations Group officers can be seen arresting Ali Ali outside a cafe in Werribee yesterday afternoon. People convicted of those crimes in Australia face a maximum penalty of life in prison. He is still being interviewed by a joint police counter-terrorism team. He is expected to be charged over the coming days.

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