A dramatic counterterrorism raid on Friday night in Melbourne’s north has uncovered three improvised explosive devices in a Greenvale home.
Armed police in a joint operation — Operation Amberd — between Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) stormed the Clare Street residence as heavily armoured vehicles blocked off the streets.
The first detonation was heard at around 8.30pm (AEST) yesterday night with another explosion occurring an hour later.
Police had a set up a 300-metre exclusion zone around a reserve where specialist police from the Victoria Police Bomb Response Unit conducted a controlled detonation of the explosive devices.
A 17-year-old has been remanded in police custody charged with terrorism offences and is due before the Children’s Court on Monday, with possibilities that he may be tried before a higher jurisdiction.
It will be alleged the teenager was undertaking preparations for planning a terrorist act in Australia.
Victoria Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill said the operation has contained an imminent threat to our community safety.
“What yesterday’s operation demonstrates is that we are ready. Our actions were methodical, measured and precise,” he said.
“Our counter terrorism capabilities are well tested and we will continue to work with our partner law enforcement agencies to detect and disrupt terrorism.
“I want to remind members of the public that operations and arrests such as these are about ensuring community safety.”
The attack was speculated to be carried out on Mother’s Day with the Victorian Police still “yet to determine why this person has undertaken these alleged activities”.
“We may not know exactly where it was going to occur nor when it was going to occur, but let me tell you, something was going to happen,” said Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Mike Phelan.
Phelan called yesterday’s arrest a “sobering reminder to all parents of the importance of being more engaged with their children”.
“It is deeply troubling to police that young people in our communities are becoming so disaffected and alienated that they would consider engaging in acts such as this,” he said.
Yesterday, the Victoria Police posted the following tweet:
Vic Pol and AFP is conducting an operation in north metro Melbourne. It relates to an ongoing investigation. No further info at this time.
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) May 8, 2015
The raids come just weeks after the Victoria Police and AFP executed a major joint counterterrorism operation last month where three men were arrested.
The five men involved were believed to be planning an attack on ANZAC day with Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton describing the alleged plot as “ISIS-inspired”.
That operation saw 200 armed police officers involved in search warrants across Melbourne’s South Eastern Metropolitan area on April 18.
At this point in time, there are said to be no links between the two incidents.
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