Australian officials announced on Thursday that they had thwarted a massive jihadist terror plot that included the planned beheadings of Australian citizens wrapped in an Islamic State (IS) flag.
Eight hundred officers from special anti-terrorism police units raided several areas through Sydney on Thursday. By the end of the operation, police had detained fifteen individuals believed to be part of an imminent attack that intended to “commit violent acts,” Police told ABC Australia.
Police officials said the counterterror operation that hit twenty-five separate locations in one day was part of an cooperative effort between New South Wales (NSW) police, Australian Federal Police, and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he was well aware of the counterinsurgency operation, and briefed about it in advance, while also mentioning that the police had fully believed the terrorists had the “intent” to carry out the attacks, and the mission was based on “not just the suspicion.”
“The exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country,” said PM Abbot. “That’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have,” he added.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told ABC Australia about the disturbing “reality of the threat we actually face.” He added, “You know it is of serious concern that right at the heart of our communities we have people that are planning to conduct random attacks.”
A long-time resident of Australia was in disbelief about the outbreak of Islamic radicalism in his very own community, telling ABC, “I just find it so wrong for that to be happening here in Australia. How do we get to this stage that people are out of control.”
Over the weekend, Australia raised its terrorist alert level to “high,” just short of the top level of “extreme,” where an attack on the country is believed to be imminent.
Breitbart News has reported on Australia’s cultural subversion following the surge in radical sympathies and its newfound issue with Islamic anti-Semitism. Breitbart reported on what was known as the Street Dawah movement, in which a group of Muslim preachers converted mass numbers of Australians to Islam. Some within Street Dawah have reportedly become members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
In mid September, Breitbart News documented the surge in successful Islamic State recruitment towards Australian citizens, as over thirty of Canberra’s citizens have now been reportedly linked up with the Islamic State to wage holy war in Iraq and Syria.
In early September, Prime Minister Abbott announced that Australia was going to to arm and equip Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State. This week, Canberra’s government agreed to become part of a coalition effort to contribute resources in the fight against the Islamic State.