Major Counter-Terrorism Operation Aimed At Alleged ISIS Supporters Announced In Australia; Police Seize Sword, Weapons; Random Attacks Planned Against Members Of Public, Police Say

From abc.net,au

From abc.net.au

The largest counter-terrorism campaign in Australia’s history reportedly is under way today, with officials saying one or more individuals with links to ISIS planned random attacks against members of the Australian public to demonstrate the reach of the terrorist group.

ISIS is associated with beheadings. Two American journalists and a British aid worker have been executed in this fashion by ISIS, which has taken over lands in Iraq and Syria.

Video circulating in Australian media today shows that police seized a sword.

Here is the lede from a story in The Telegraph (U.K.) (italics added):

Pre-dawn raids across Sydney and Brisbane led to the arrest of fifteen people and the reported seizure of a scimitar, a gun, machetes, balaclavas and military fatigues which authorities said were to be used in a plot to “shock, horrify and terrorise” the community.

“It is of serious concern that in the heart of our community there have been plans to conduct a random attack,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said. “We know there were plans on foot and we have been able to disrupt that.”

From a statement by Australian Federal Police (italics added):

Fifteen people have been detained in relation to serious terrorism related offences during a major NSW Joint Counter Terrorism (JCTT) operation in Sydney today.

More than 800 officers from the AFP and NSW Police Force conducted 25 search warrants across Sydney this morning in the suburbs of Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.

Fifteen warrants have been undertaken at Sydney premises this morning, with a further 10 warrants undertaken in relation to vehicles.

The operation follows the Joint Counter Terrorism Team investigation of a group of people located in Sydney alleged to have the intent to carry out random attacks on individuals here in Australia.

Police believe this group was actively preparing for the attacks however there is no information regarding a specific attack, including dates, time or location.

The warrants were undertaken today to prevent the group’s planning activities at the earliest opportunity, and collect further evidence.

Also see The Australian.

Also see abc.net.au.

From NBC News (italics added):

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters that “exhortations” were coming from an Australian who is senior in the ISIS movement to support networks in Australia to “conduct demonstration killings.”

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