Sydney, May 17 (IANS) An 18-year-old, suspected of planning a terror attack, was arrested by Australian police in an operation in Sydney that was held alongside other police raids in Melbourne.
The teenager, whose identity was not revealed, was looking to acquire a firearm and was scouring for targets in Sydney for an imminent attack, Efe news quoted a Federal Police official as saying.
“Any threat to the community posed by this individual has been mitigated,” said Gaughan.
New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said the authorities so far have prevented nine attacks, including the one that the teenager was allegedly planning.
In recent years there has been rise in Australian teenagers leaving the country to fight in the Middle East after joining Islamic extremist movements or carrying out or planning to carry out terror attacks within the country.
Five people were arrested last week as they were trying to leave the country through the sea route to join the Islamic State in Syria.
The detainees, including radical preacher Musa Cerantonio, were accused of trying to enter a foreign country with the intent to engage in hostile activities.
The defendants, between the ages 21 to 31 years, will appear in court next Thursday.
Meanwhile, a group of supporters started a Facebook campaign to fund the legal costs of the five Australians and secure their release.
Australian authorities estimate there are around 200 Australians who actively support the IS in Australia, and 110 more who have enlisted as fighters in the Middle East, of which around 50 have died in combat.