Australian police made 15 arrests Thursday after intelligence reports indicated that a major terrorist attack was being planned on Australian soil.
Following a Joint Counter Terrorism Team raids across Sydney on Thursday, September 18, 2014, further charges have been laid with a 24-year-old man from Merrylands, charged with possessing ammunition without license and unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon.
He has been bailed to appear in Fairfield Local Court on September 24th. The suspect was refused bail.
One man has appeared before the courts charged with conspiracy to commit acts in preparation of a terrorist act. Nine of those detained today have now been released as investigations continue.
Two women were issued Future Court Attendance Notices.
Police stress that this investigation remains active with the principle focus on community safety and preventing any form of terrorist activity on Australian soil.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that according to intelligence reports, a senior Australian Islamic State member had urged supporters in Australia to conduct “demonstration killings” locally in Australia. The intelligence indicates people in Australia were allegedly planning a public beheading to be carried out in the name of militant group Islamic State. The suspects captured in the raids apparently were planning to snatch and behead a random member of the public, then drape them in the flag of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Andrew Colvin and other senior NSW Police members address the media about this morning’s anti-terror raids in Sydney and Brisbane.
NSW Police Commissioner Announces Operation Hammerhead
The NSW Police Force has announced the activation of a high-visibility policing operation following the counter-terrorism operation this morning.
Operation Hammerhead is an ongoing statewide operation focussing on high-visibility policing, increased presence in public places and public transport hubs.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said he has asked the Commander of the Central Metropolitan Region, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller to head-up the operation.
“Operation Hammerhead will focus mainly on metropolitan Sydney and primarily involve general duties police. If need be, those officers will be used wherever our operational intelligence dictates.
“Hundreds of general duties police, as well as specialist commands, will be deployed from the Police Operation Centre which will remain open 24/7 during the operation.
“Operation Hammerhead will also patrol iconic locations such as the Harbour and its surrounding foreshores as well as sporting fixtures and other large scale public events,” Commissioner Scipione said.
Central Metropolitan Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said a major part of operation’s strategy will focus on maintaining strong community engagement.
“Our aim is to provide and maintain high levels of public safety to give all NSW residents the confidence to go about their day-to-day business,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
“To achieve this, together with our partner agencies, we are working closely with our contacts in the community to ensure calm.
“We will use a range of officers and squads during the operation that are available at all times of the day and night.
‘These include but not limited to General Duties, Police Transport Command, the Dog Squad, Operational Support Group officers, Public Order and Riot Squad Officers, Traffic and Highway Patrol, and Mounted Units.”
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