Australian police have arrested four men after foiling what that say was a major terrorist plot. More than 400 officers raided 19 properties across the southern city of Melbourne. The suspects are Australian nationals of Somali and Lebanese descent. They are accused of having links with an Islamist militant group called Al Shabaab in Somalia. Police claim the cell were planning a suicide attack on an army base.
“Details of the planning indicate that the alleged offenders were prepared to inflict a sustained attack on military personnel until they themselves were killed. The investigation has also identified alleged travel of Australian citizens to Somalia, to participate in hostilities in that country,” said Federal Police acting-Chief Commissioner Tony Negus. After a seven-month undercover operation, police said one of the group’s intended targets was Holsworth Barracks near Sydney. The alleged plan was to storm the base using automatic weapons killing as many soldiers as possible until they themselves were killed. One suspect has been charged with the other three due in court later. A fifth man is also being questioned. Authorities say if the plot had succeeded it would have been the most serious terrorist act ever carried out in Australia.