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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:44 pm
Fifteen arrests this morning in anti-terrorist raids across Sydney and Melbourne:
The raids appear to have targeted suspects alleged to be involved in the potential terrorist threat involving the two cities that was announced by the federal government last week.
The Australian Federal Police has confirmed the arrests saying charges include intentionally being a member of a terrorist organisation and intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organisation.
NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said 400 federal and state officers were involved in the Sydney raids alone, and they achieved a major breakthrough.
The simultaneous raids, at 2.30am (AEDT) in both cities, resulted in six arrests in Sydney and nine in Melbourne.
* The Melbourne raids involved 12 houses.
* One of the Sydney homes, according to a Danish exchange student, had been under surveillance for months.
* A pro-Osama cleric is among those arrested.
* Another cleric is to be deported.
* Search warrants are still being executed.
* Senator Barnaby Joyce: “These people were, obviously, from what we’ve heard in the news, well advanced in a plan to attack one of the train stations in Melbourne or Sydney.
“If they had been successful in that, everybody would have been asking the question ‘why didn’t we stop them?’. Well, they have been stopped.”
UPDATE. Reaction from leftoid bloggers:
Larvatus Prodeo: “I suppose the PM and Minister Ruddock had to produce something to justify the surprise railroading of the ‘just one little word’ amendment.”
wsacaucus.org: “I think it’s too early to say just yet what this all means.”
John Quiggin: “The fact that one of the suspects was armed and allegedly fired on police may have reflected advance warning.”
Gary Sauer-Thompson: nothing
Ms Fits: “I think they’re going to explode something non-specific in a fashion that is an affront to freedom and the Australian way of life!”
Daily Flute: nothing
Anonymous Lefty: “Look! A shiny penny!”
Troppo Armadillo: nothing
Tim Dunlop: “What it looks like is that a bunch of ratbags were thwarted in their attempts to kill as many of us as they could. That’s an unalloyed good, and that’s all I really care about.”
William Burroughs’ Baboon: nothing
Antony Loewenstein: “America and its allies, including Australia, are about to suffer a horrendous case of ‘blowback.’”
Andrew West: “What we appear to have is a situation where police and ASIO, acting on sound information, using beefed up operational powers, have observed all the rules of law. Habeas corpus remains intact.”
Rex Ringschott: “Let’s hope this doesn’t radicalise our Muslim community any further.”