News State Victoria News Arrests in Victorian counter-terror operation

Arrests in Victorian counter-terror operation

A 19-year-old Melbourne man accused of plotting a terrorist act is among three people arrested by police as part of a joint agency operation. Photo: AAP
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Three people have been arrested as part of a joint counter-terrorism operation in Victoria, including a 19-year-old man accused of trying to partake in a terrorist act.

Two Epping men, aged 19 and 20, and a 16-year-old boy from Pascoe Vale were arrested in raids on Wednesday morning.

The operation was conducted by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team, which comprises of Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and other agencies.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Hermans said it was Islamic “ideology-based, religious extremism”.

But he stressed it made “no difference” which religion was involved, as police focused on the crime, not the religion.

It will be alleged the 19-year-old man, who is being interviewed by police, attempted to engage in a terrorist act.

The 20-year-old Epping man also remains in custody, while the Pascoe Vale youth was released pending further enquiries.

Mr Hermans said police would offer the 16-year-old support and “hopefully divert him away from the activity that saw him come to our attention this morning”.

In a statement, Victoria Police said no further arrests are expected.

The arrests are not linked to any previous operational activity.

-more to come