Melbourne Terror Plot: Three men arrested over mass shooting fear
November 21, 2018 | Brainwave Science
Three Victorian men, including two brothers, were arrested on suspicion of plotting an Islamic State-inspired terror attack in Melbourne. Police believe the suspects planned to open fire on a Melbourne crowd with a semiautomatic rifle, with an intention to kill as many people as possible.
Hanifi Halis, 21, and brothers Samed Eriklioglu, 26, and Ertunc Eriklioglu, 30, were arrested following the police dawn raid at their respective homes on Tuesday and charged with preparing for an act of terrorism. However, the suspect’s family denied the allegations. Armagan Eriklioglu, the father of arrested brothers, said his sons were neither violent nor inspired by Islamic State.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the plot was inspired rather than being directed by Islamic State. Australian law enforcement agencies have been monitoring the suspects since March last year after their attempts to travel to Syria. The police arrested the suspects after the encrypted communication, complicated enough to decipher, increased in the past week following the Bourke Street attack and trial of James Gargasoulas. He further included Police isn’t aware of the place or time of the attacks but there was a view towards a crowded place.
The suspects, Australian nationals of Turkish background, radicalized themselves and were inspired by Islamic State police said.
Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and other federal agencies conducted a dawn raid and foil the group’s alleged plans.
Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney praised the joint counter-terrorism operation results, especially after the ongoing Bourke Street (car attack) trail. He quoted related to the foil terror attack:
“If we had not acted early in preventing this attack, we will allege the consequences would have been of significant potential loss of human life.”
Australia, a strong U.S. ally that sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to fight terrorism, has been on heightened alert since 2014 for attacks by home-grown militants inspired by the Islamic States or other terrorist organizations.
Concern regarding the domestic security of Australia has been a serious discussion for law enforcement agencies. The arrests came less than weeks after Bourke Street attack and conviction of three men plotting Christmas terrorist attack. Terrorist organizations and Religious extremists around the world, including in Australia, are increasingly turning to the internet to indoctrinate and radicalize locals with no prior criminal history. Matter of fact, the so-called-weaken Islamic State still possesses a strong presence in cyberspace and utilize it for communication, recruitment, propaganda, and encouraging attacks on Australia and other countries.
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