Police in Australia say they have prevented a terror attack planned for the city of Melbourne on Christmas Day. Five men are in custody.
The suspects were arrested at properties in suburban Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. Four of them were Australian-born men in their 20s of a Lebanese background, while another was an Australian of Egyptian origin. Another man and a woman were detained in the raids, but have been released without charge.
Investigators said they had seized “the makings of an improvised explosive device,” adding that alleged targets included St. Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders Street railway station and other prominent locations in Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city. Police said the alleged plot was inspired by the Islamic State militant group. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described the conspiracy as an “act of evil,”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said a violent terrorist conspiracy had been disrupted but warned of a rising international threat of extremism.