Planned terror attack on X’mas day in Australia foiled – Police

Updated: 12:36 GMT, Dec 23, 2016 | Published: 10:44 GMT, Dec 23, 2016 |

Australian police say they’ve foiled a plot to bomb parts of Melbourne on Christmas Day in a planned attack inspired by the terror group ISIS.

“As a result of this investigation we believe we have neutralized that threat,” Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said at a news conference on Friday (Dec 23).

Seven people were arrested in overnight raids in northwest Melbourne, but police said two of those were later released without charges.

Six men and a woman, all in their twenties, were arrested in dawn raids across Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, Victoria police said.

The plot involved explosives and possibly knives or guns, against possible targets in the heart of the city of 4 million, including the area near Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and St. Paul’s Cathedral, Ashton said.

Police said they found “the makings of an improvised explosive device” in raids. The plot also involved a “surveillance mission” of the area that was to be attacked, Ashton said.