Police arrested a 17-year-old and accused him of plotting to detonate three homemade bombs in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said on Saturday, in the latest terrorism scare blamed on a teenager.
The teen was arrested on Friday afternoon in a joint federal-state police counterterrorism operation at his home in the upmarket suburb of Greenvale where the explosive devices were found, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan said. The bomb squad rendered the devices safe, he said.
Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and is the capital of Victoria state.
Last month, five Australian teenagers were arrested on suspicion of plotting an Islamic State group-inspired terrorist attack at a Veterans’ Day ceremony also in Melbourne that included targeting police officers.
“We’ve got to examine lot of material that was seized at the premises, sift through a lot of intelligence, we have to get the full picture so we may not know exactly where it was going to occur nor when it was exactly going to occur, but let me tell you something was going to happen,” Phelan told reporters.
He added: “As a result of the Victoria police and AFP interception yesterday, some Victorians are going to be alive because of it. Had we not intervened, there was a real threat of action being taken.”
The suspect will appear in the Melbourne Children’s Court on Monday on terrorism charges. His identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons.
Police had contained the plot and there was no further threat from the suspect or his colleagues to the people of Victoria, Phelan said.
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