Australian police arrest 5 in terror plot

Aug. 4, 2009 at 7:41 AM   |   Comments

MELBOURNE, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Police in Australia Tuesday arrested five men, saying they planned to stage a suicide attack on an Australian military base.

Authorities arrested the men -- all Australian citizens of Somali and Lebanese descent -- in police raids across Melbourne, culminating a seven-month counter-terrorism operation, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

One suspect was charged on a terrorism-related offense and remanded after a court appearance. Three suspects were being questioned and another suspect was in custody on other matters, ABC said.

About 400 law enforcement officers participated in the 19 raids that took place across Melbourne and Victoria, officials said.

Australian Federal Police Acting Chief Commissioner Tony Negus said more arrests were possible.

"There are further inquiries being conducted both in Australia and overseas," Negus said.

Negus said the men were affiliated with al-Shabab, an Islamic militant group that has been battling Somalia's transitional government since 2006 and controls much of southern Somalia, The New York Times reported.

Australia will not raise its terror alert level as a result of Tuesday's raids and arrests, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said. He said the events served as a reminder of security threats facing the nation.

"The threat of terrorism is alive and well and this requires continued vigilance," Rudd said.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New York Post defies #ISISMediablackout with graphic James Foley cover
North Korea insults John Kerry on his appearance
New York Times reporter ordered to leave Afghanistan
Group tweaks Westboro Baptist Church with 'God Loves Gays' campaign
David Cameron: 'Increasingly likely' jihadist in Foley video is British citizen
Trending News