Australia: Cops conduct terror raids

2012-09-12 18:00
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Sydney - Australian police have raided a string of properties in Melbourne over alleged links to home-grown terrorism, reports said on Wednesday.

Australian Federal Police and Victorian police would not confirm the raids, but said an operation was ongoing.

"It's an ongoing investigation," a spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said, adding that it would be inappropriate to comment further.

The Age newspaper said the raids were linked to the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Springvale.

The paper said those targeted in the operation were believed to be involved in "contemplating and getting information" about terrorist activities rather than a full-blown terror plot.

Cordoned off

A spokesperson for the Al-Furqan centre, which has an Islamic bookstore and runs prayers, classes and youth activities, told Australian Associated Press that police arrived at 06:00 and remained at the centre until evening.

"They wouldn't allow anyone inside, they just cordoned it off," the man, who would not give his name, said.

"They took a few things and gave us a receipt.

"Everyone has been taken aback but you always have the feeling that these things can happen," he said.

Australia has disrupted at least four major home-grown terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, with 37 of the 38 people prosecuted as a result being Australian citizens.

Last year three men who were found guilty of plotting to attack a Sydney army barracks with high-powered weapons, and shoot as many people as possible to further their vision of Islam, were jailed for 18 years.

Read more on:    australia  |  security

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