An 18-year-old man has been arrested in western Sydney by federal and New South Wales police for allegedly planning an “imminent” terrorist act.
Authorities said the arrest was not related to raids earlier today at properties in Melbourne, which were part of an operation connected to the arrest of five Victorian men who allegedly planned to travel to Indonesia by boat.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said today’s arrest had prevented an attack, which was currently being planned and was described as “probably imminent”.
Deputy Commissioner Burn said police would allege the man was planning to leave the country “to go to another country to engage in hostile activities”.
“He does have associations with some of the people that have already been put before the courts,” she said.
Deputy Commissioner Burn would not identify which people and how they were linked.
Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan said the man was arrested at Macquarie Park in Sydney’s north west this morning and had been charged with planning a terrorism attack and preparing for foreign incursions.
“We have taken swift action to ensure the safety of the community and we are satisfied that any threat to the community posed by this think individual has been mitigated,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Gaughan said.
“We are satisfied that this individual was acting alone.
“We will allege that this individual was looking at possible sites in Sydney to undertake a terrorist attack and was making arrangements to acquire a firearm.”
He said police were currently in the charging process and allegations were yet to be taken to the court so he was not in a position to go into more detail.
Deputy Commissioner Burn said the arrest today had kept the community safe, which was the priority of police.
“This arrest today again highlights the importance of our disruption strategies,” she said.
“Unfortunately what is concerning is that we are still seeing people who want to do an attack in our country.”
The ABC understands that what the teenager was planning was a new plot and not connected to plots by terrorism suspects who are currently before the courts.