Australian police arrests two in anti-terror raid

Australian police arrest two people in counter-terrorism operation in Sydney

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

One of the two men arrested during the counter-terrorism operation on December 23, 2015

Two men were arrested by Australian police in a counter-terrorism operation in Sydney on Wednesday on suspicion of planning to carry out terror attacks in the capital.

The suspects - 24-year-old Abdullah Salihy from Merrylands and Mohammed Almaouie, 20, from the southwest suburb of Bankstown - were allegedly planning to target areas including the navy base on Garden Island in Sydney Harbour.

Salihy was charged after he was found to be in possession of a document that allegedly suggested he was planning a terrorist attack, while Almaouie was charged with conspiracy to "do an act in preparation to commit a terrorist act."

The arrests were made as part of what has been dubbed the Appleby operation, in which the police are searching for people linked with domestic terrorist acts or providing financial help of any kind to terrorist groups.

The operation has so far resulted in 11 arrests on terror-related charges.

New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said that the arrests are linked to the evidence obtained by the police in last year’s raids in Sydney in which 15 people were arrested.

"I do need to stress that this activity today relates to events of last year, it relates to documents and other material seized in search warrants last year," she said.

"We will allege in their planning that they mentioned a few locations. We are aware and we will allege that the Woolloomooloo navy base was one of those locations," Burn said.

"What we will be saying is that there was a group of people who came together with the idea, with the intent to do something, and they started to make preparations to carry out a terrorist act," she added.

It has also been reported that Almaouie’s older brother Jibryl was arrested last year and charged a month ago with planning an attack against the Agence France Presse headquarters in Sydney along with four other suspects.

"The message is that this in not a new threat we’re dealing with," Burn said.

TRTWorld and agencies