Two men and a teenage boy have been arrested in a major counter-terrorism operation in Melbourne today.
Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation conducted raids on a number of properties in Epping and Pascoe Vale this morning.
During the searches, police arrested three males, including a 19-year-old man, who allegedly attempted to engage in a terrorist act.
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He is currently being interviewed by police in relation to suspected terrorism offences.
A 20-year-old man also remains in custody, while a 16-year-old boy was released “pending further enquiries”.
“What we investigated were two incidents, one related to a fire in bushland approximately 30 minutes from the Epping area on the 18th of February and an assault in Metropolitan Melbourne on the 10th of March,” Assistant Commissioner Michael Hermans told reporters on Wednesday.
“The circumstances of those two incidents are being investigated to determine the extent to which they may or may not lead to terrorism charges.
“Again without going into extensive detail, there is an ideology that makes us believe that it’s linked to extremist activity.
“Not right-wing extremism in this case, ideology based on religious extremism,” he said.
The operation remains ongoing, however, police say they do not anticipate making any further arrests at this stage.
“Victoria Police would like to reassure the community that it continues to work collaboratively with JCTT partners to ensure the safety of all Victorians,” police said in a statement.
“Victoria has well tested, cooperative, counter terrorism and emergency management plans in place and constantly monitor and assess our preparedness to respond to a range of emergencies.”
More to come.