Australian Police Frustrate Suicide Bomb Strike, Nab Four Suspects
Four men, reportedly linked to a Somali militant group, have been arrested by Australian police, which accuses them of planning a suicide attack on an army base with expressly concerns that Al-Qaida-linked militants were in search of targets outside Africa.
According to report, the four men were nabbed during raids conducted on 19 properties across the southern city of Melbourne in dawn, after a seven-month probe by three police forces and Australia’s national security agency ASIO.
Officials maintain that warning alert continues to be at medium level in the country since 2003, but premier Kevin Rudd said that arrests showed that threats persist.
“The sobering element to emerge from today’s development is the reminder to all Australians that the threat of terrorism is alive and well,” he said in Cairns.
It should be noted that it is the latest high-profile terrorism case uncovered by Australian police and intelligence agencies.
Four men, arrested in this latest case, aged between 22 and 26 and, are all Australian citizens with Somali and Lebanese backgrounds. Police said they were linked to the al Shabaab militant group.
Reports suggest that one man, Nayaf El Sayed, 25, was officially charged with hatching a ploy for a terrorist act. Police were granted extra time to question three others, Saney Aweys, Yacqub Khayre and Abdirahman Ahmed.
Not entering a plea or applying for bail, Sayed refused to stand for the magistrate before he was remanded in jail to reappear in court on October 26.
“He believes he should not stand for any man except God,” his counsel told the hearing.
A fifth man, in custody on other matters, was also being questioned and police have not ruled out more arrests.