Australian police thwart imminent bomb attack, teen charged
09 May 2015, 09:51
Perth - Australian police said on Saturday they had
thwarted an imminent terror attack after discovering explosives at a Melbourne
home and arresting a 17-year-old boy, in the latest example of the threat posed
by radicalised teenagers in the country.
Acting on a tip-off from the national security phone
line, police and security agencies began investigating the youth and later raided
his home in Greenvale, 20km north of Melbourne, on Friday when the threat was
The bomb squad moved three improvised explosive devices
to a nearby park where they were "rendered safe" and said there was
no longer a threat to the community, police told a news conference.
The teen, who cannot be identified due to his age, was
charged with terrorism-related offences and remanded in custody to appear
before the Children's Court in a closed sitting on Monday, police said.
The boy's family were described by police as
"caring" and "very, very distraught" over the arrest.
"These are extremely serious offences and they did
involve the use of improvised explosive devices," federal police deputy
commissioner Mike Phelan told reporters.
"Had we not intervened, there was a real threat of
action being taken."
Police said an investigation was under way and declined
to say whether the incident had any links to Islamic extremism.
They did confirm, however, that there was no link to last
month's terror raids in Melbourne and the subsequent arrest of five teenagers
over the planning of an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack against police
officers on the national ANZAC day holiday.
Local media reported that the teen had become more active
on Facebook in recent weeks, commenting on the war in Syria and that the attack
was to take place during the Mother's Day Classic fun run on Sunday, which
attracts tens of thousands of participants in cities around Australia.
"It is deeply troubling to police that such young
people in our community are becoming disaffected in the way in which they are
and considering endangering the lives of many Australians," Phelan said.
Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its
action against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, raised the national
terror threat level to "high" for the first time last September.
"We know that we face a very serious terror
threat," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Darwin on Saturday.
"It's important that we don't underestimate the
terror threat but it's also important that we keep it in perspective."