Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police have confirmed they are carrying out a series of joint raids as part of an operation in suburban Melbourne.
“The Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police Joint Counter Terrorism Team can confirm that a number of search warrants are being conducted as part of an operation in the following suburbs – Seabrook, Kealba, Meadow Heights, Broadmeadows and Flemington,” a statement from police read.
Photos published by Nine News appear to show at least one individual being taken into custody.
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) September 29, 2014
The ABC has reported that the raids are terrorism-related, citing confirmation from senior government sources.
An AFP spokesperson said in a written statement: “This operational activity is not in response to a threat to public safety nor is it related to last week’s incident at Endeavour Hills.”
Last week, an 18-year-old man suspected of terrorism-related activities was shot dead by police in Endeavour Hills after he stabbed two officers during a prearranged meeting.
Police also said that the Melbourne raids had no connection to widespread police raids in Brisbane and Sydney on September 18.
Victoria’s Premier Denis Napthine says he was briefed by police as the raids started and was told they were part of a long-running and ongoing counter-terrorism operation.
“They advised yes, they are counter-terrorism related, but they are not related to the incident last week at Endeavour Hills,” he told Fairfax Radio.
“They are no threat to public safety. They are raids that are part of an ongoing operation
“There is no threat to public safety. They are part of an ongoing effort combined between the AFP and Victoria Police.
“I can’t say further than that.
“They are not about a specific threat or there is certainly no immediate concern for public safety.”
Dr Napthine said he had not been advised of any arrests stemming from the raids.
“There certainly will be intelligence gathering and arrests as appropriate,” he said.
He said it was a “sad situation”, but he had great confidence in authorities conducting the operations.
“It is sad. It’s a sad situation that we now face, but we can have confidence in the work of ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and the (Victoria Police), they do a terrific job,” Dr Napthine said.
“They certainly are ahead of the game in terms of protecting public safety and preventing any issues emerging in our society.”
– with AAP