Australian teens held over alleged terror attack

AUSTRALIA, APR 18: Police in Australia say they have foiled an Islamic State-inspired plot to carry out an attack at a World War One centenary event.

Police arrested five suspects, including two 18-year-olds being held for alleged terrorism-related offences.

They said the men were planning to target police at an Anzac memorial event in Melbourne next week.

Some 200 police officers took part in the counter-terrorism operation in the city early on Saturday.

Acting deputy police commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters that evidence gathered by police led them to believe the suspects had been influenced by Islamic State.

The two men held on terrorism-related offences were likely to be charged, he said.

‘Edged weapons’

A third man, also 18, was arrested on weapons charges and two other teenagers, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting with enquiries.

Officials referred to possible attacks using “edged weapons”, but Mr Gaughan said there was no evidence to suggest there was “a planned beheading”.

Anzac Day is an annual day of remembrance for servicemen and women from Australia and New Zealand. A series of events are planned for next week to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli.

Police said that although officers were the primary target of the alleged Melbourne plot there was also a threat to the public.

Search operations were continuing at several addresses in the south-east of the city on Saturday.

Australia raised its threat level to high last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids.