Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that police have stopped a terrorist plot in Melbourne, originally set to be carried out on Christmas Day. Seven suspects in total were arrested. They are being charged with creating explosive devices and plotting to attack the city in the name of ISIS.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said police seized “the makings of an improvised explosive device” on Thursday. “Over the last fortnight … we have had to conduct a criminal investigation relating to the formation of what we believe was a terrorist plot,” Ashton told the press.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described the ISIS-inspired plot as an “act of evil,” and Prime Minister Turnbull released a formal statement following the detainment of the seven conspirators:
“Overnight our police and security agencies have disrupted a very substantial terrorist plot. Overnight, the Victoria Police, working with the Australian Federal Police and ASIO, have arrested seven persons, five of whom are still in custody, searched five premises and are continuing to search them.
What they have uncovered is a plot to explode improvised explosive devices in central Melbourne in the area of Federation Square, on or about Christmas Day… This is one of the most substantial terrorist plots that have been disrupted over the last several years.”