UPDATE: FIFTEEN people been arrested in the largest counter terrorism operation in Australia’s history amid reports of a planned public beheading in Sydney.
More than 800 officers from the AFP and NSW Police Force conducted 25 search warrants across 12 Sydney suburbs.
The operation follows the Joint Counter Terrorism Team investigation of a group of people located in Sydney alleged to have the intent to carry out random attacks on individuals here in Australia.
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Robert Ovadia from Seven News reported the plans outlined barbaric acts, including one where a member of the public would be snatched at random, draped in the Islamic State flag, and beheaded on the streets of Sydney.
NSW Police Commissioner Andres Scipione told media a short time ago that an attack on a person was likely to occur.
He refused to confirm a beheading may have been planned but did say a serious violence was planned for a random member of the public on the streets of New South Wales.
“What we can indicate was the violence was to be perpetrated on a member of the public on the streets and certainly at this stage was at a very high level,” he said.
He stressed the details will be released through Court proceedings, with one man arrested and charged on terror related offences this morning.
The man arrested will front Court in Sydney later today.
AFP Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the purpose of today’s action was to keep the community safe.
“The police activity today was about preventing this group at the earliest possible opportunity and ensuring their plans did not come to fruition,” Acting AFP Commissioner Colvin said.
“Law enforcement agencies will continue to work together to combat threats before they become a reality.”
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said today’s operation reflects the reality of the threat we face and also the strength and capability of the counter terrorism agencies state and federal.
“It is of serious concern that in the heart of our community there have been plans to conduct a random attack. We know there were plans on foot and we have been able to disrupt that.”
“Our police will continue to work tirelessly to prevent any such attacks but I stress this is a time for calm. “
“We want people to continue to enjoy the freedoms that make our country such a wonderful and harmonious country.”
We will have more details as they come to hand.
EARLIER: ANTI-TERROR raids have been carried out across south-east Queensland and Sydney.
The Australian Federal Police have confirmed it’s conducted searches in Logan, Underwood and Mt Gravatt East this morning.
It’s unclear if there’s been any arrest in those areas at this stage.
It follows the arrests of two Brisbane men last week after their bookstore in Logan was part of a massive search.
A massive police operation is also currently underway in Sydney’s northwest suburbs this morning as a result of a joint counter-terrorism operation involving the NSW Police and the AFP.
It’s not clear at this stage whether the raids in the two cities are linked.
There’s been a number of arrests with concerns some of those involved may have links to the Islamic State extremist group.
Police executed search warrants across Sydney this morning in Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.
The operational activity is ongoing at this time.
We’ll have more information as it comes to hand.