Australian police arrest seven suspects allegedly planning Isis-inspired Christmas Day bomb attacks

Suspects described as 'self-radicalised' and inspired by Isis propaganda

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Friday 23 December 2016 00:32
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Flinders Street Railway Station was among the list of Christmas Day bombing targets
Flinders Street Railway Station was among the list of Christmas Day bombing targets

Police in Melbourne have arrested seven suspects who were allegedly planning a series of Isis-inspired Christmas Day bomb attacks in the city.

The seven had planned attacks on Melbourne's Flinders Street train station, neighbouring Federation Square and St Paul's Cathedral, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.

Mr Ashton said police had been watching the alleged plotters for some time, and believed they were preparing to use explosives and other weapons.

Police said they believed the threat had been neutralised through the raids on Thursday night and Friday morning.

About 400 police officers were involved in the raids.

Mr Ashton said police had gathered unspecified evidence in the raids that the plotters were planning to use explosives in their attack.

"We gathered the makings of an improvised explosive device," Mr Ashton said.

He added: "Certainly [there was the] potential for quite a number of people to be injured or killed in this attack."

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Mr Ashton described those arrested as "self-radicalised" and inspired by Isis propaganda.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said there will be extra police on the streets of Melbourne on Christmas Day to make the public feel safe.

Additional reporting by agencies

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