Australian police charge teen, 19, with planning a terrorist act

SYDNEY (AFP) - A 19-year-old man has been charged in connection with planning a terrorist act in Australia, the police said on Wednesday, after the Prime Minister recently warned the threat of an attack was "real".

Police said the man, who is being held in jail over a separate issue, has been charged with making a document connected with preparation for a terrorist act.

Police did not reveal details, but The Sydney Morning Herald said that documents allegedly found in the man's cell included a letter discussing plans to behead people.

The teenager, who is due to face a Sydney court on Oct 12, has also been charged with an act in preparation for or planning a terrorist act and with delivering a document threatening to kill a person.

The charges come just days after a 22-year-old man, who the police said was "inspired by" the so-called Islamic state in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), stabbed a 59-year-old grandfather out walking in south-western Sydney, leaving him with serious injuries.

Last week, a teenage boy was also charged with making threats at the Sydney Opera House. Both incidents follow a recent call by ISIS urging followers to target high-profile Australian sites.

New South Wales police said the unnamed man was being held on remand at a jail in Goulburn, 200km from Sydney, over other matters, and the latest charges followed the seizure of material at the prison.

"There is no current threat to the community as a result of today's activity," NSW police said in a joint statement with their federal counterparts.

Officials say they have stopped 10 terror attacks in Australia in the past two years, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying the threat of a terror attack in his nation was "real".