Four people were arrested in Australia on Wednesday (October 7) in connection with the slaying of a civilian police worker, whose murder is being treated as a case of terrorism.
Some 200 officers raided homes in Western Sydney at dawn as part of their investigation. Police accountant Curtis Cheng, 58, was shot dead last Friday (October 2) by a teenage boy, Farhad Jabar, who authorities said was born in Iran of Iraqi and Kurdish background.
Catherine Burn, New South Wales Police Force Deputy Commissioner, said: “What we are investigating is a terrorism offence, so what we would suggest and we suspect is that there was some influence, whether it was ideologically, religious or politically motivated that determined and influenced the 15-year-old to go and commit this horrendous act of violence.”
Local media reports said the homes of three of the men arrested on Wednesday had been previously targeted in counter-terrorism raids a year ago.
Earlier this week, a student who attended the same school as Jabar was arrested and questioned over alleged social media posts praising Farhad and threatening police.
Australia is a staunch ally of the United States in its fight against Islamist militants in the Middle East, and it has been on high alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since last year.