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2 charged with terrorism in Australia

11 February 2015, 14:14

Sydney - Two alleged ISIS supporters in Sydney have been charged with plotting a terrorist attack, Australian police said on Wednesday, the latest terrorism-related incident in the country in recent months.

Omar Al-Kutobi and Mohammad Kiad were detained in a raid on a property in Fairfield, a suburb in the west of the New South Wales capital, on Tuesday.

The men, aged 24 and aged 25 respectively, have been charged with acts in preparation for a terrorist attack, police said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said police had acted because they assessed that a terrorist attack was most likely imminent.

"We are maintaining a ceaseless vigilance against those who would do us harm and today you saw that vigilance at work," Abbott told reporters.

New South Wales deputy police commissioner Catherine Burn said the counter-terrorism units had acted on a tip-off, broadcaster ABC reported.

Also read: Australian police thwart imminent ISIS-linked attack

"The type of act that we will allege that was going to be undertaken is consistent with the messaging coming out of ISIS," Burn was quoted as saying.

Police found a machete, hunting knife, an ISIS flag and a video, in which a man spoke of an attack, she said.

After initial reports that the case would come to court later on Wednesday, it is now expected to be heard on Thursday in the Central Local Court in Sydney.

Several suburbs in Sydney and other parts of the country have been at the centre of counter-terrorism raids since Australia lifted its national terrorism alert level to high in September.

The move came amid rising concern over so-called homegrown terrorism linked to conflicts in the Middle East.

In December a supporter of ISIS took 18 people hostage at a cafe in Sydney's central business district, leading to the deaths of two hostages and the gunman.



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