Arrested teens ‘planned IS-inspired attack’ say Sydney police

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The street where the boys were arrested has been cordoned off by police

Police in Australia have alleged that two teenagers arrested on Wednesday were about to commit an attack inspired by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The 16-year-old boys were arrested by a counter-terrorism team in a laneway behind a Muslim prayer hall.

They were allegedly carrying two bayonet-style knives purchased that day and notes pledging allegiance to IS.

At a news conference, police said the boys had been charged with terror-related offences.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp is reporting that one of the boys is the son of a convicted terrorist. Police declined to comment on that report.

NSW Police Commissioner Catherine Burn addresses the media
NSW Police Commissioner Catherine Burn addresses the media

The pair did not appear in Parramatta Children’s Court and did not apply for bail which was formally refused.

“We will be alleging this attack was inspired by Islamic State,” New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn told journalists.

“We don’t have any specific information of a particular target where we will allege that there was going to be an imminent attack.”

The arrests were part of an on-going counter-terrorism operation, local media said.

“We have been saying for a long time now that primary for all of us is about public safety,” Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Phelan said.

“Anybody who says they’ve got the silver bullet to youth radicalisation, please tell me all about it,” he said.

The arrests comes one month after a 22-year-old man was charged with committing a terrorist act and attempted murder in southwest Sydney.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in September the threat of a terror attack in the nation was “real” after an IS call to followers to target prominent Australian locations.

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