Police arrest 4 in anti-terror raids in Sydney

SYDNEY • Counter-terrorism police in Australia yesterday arrested four people in raids across several Sydney suburbs aimed at disrupting plans for "terrorist attacks".

"These operations are designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in an e-mailed statement.

"The public should be reassured that our security and intelligence agencies are working tirelessly to keep us safe."

Australian Federal Police said the raids by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team "relate to an ongoing investigation".

"Four men have been taken into custody and are assisting police with their enquiries," the police said in a statement.

The Seven Network reported that 40 riot squad officers had moved on one inner city home before an explosives team found a suspicious device, although police would not confirm this.

40 riot squad officers had moved on one inner city home before an explosives team found a suspicious device.

TV footage showed a man with a bandage on his head and draped in a blanket being led away. National broadcaster ABC quoted a woman as saying her son and husband were arrested, but denied they had links to terrorism. "I love Australia," she said as she was led away to a car.

Australia, a close ally of the United States, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, or their supporters, since 2014. There have been several "lone wolf"assaults, including a cafe siege in Sydney in 2014 that left two hostages and the gunman dead.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 30, 2017, with the headline 'Police arrest 4 in anti-terror raids in Sydney'. Print Edition | Subscribe