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Australian police arrest two after counterterrorism raids

Australian police arrest two after counterterrorism raidsA 15-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were arrested and charged with terrorism-related offenses on Thursday in Sydney, and three other suspects are being questioned, police officials said at a news conference.

The two suspects who were arrested were planning to carry out a terrorist attack in Sydney, possibly aimed at the Australian Federal Police Headquarters, said Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan of the federal police, a force whose duties include counterterrorism operations.

The police did not provide further details, but they said the charges were linked to a previous plot uncovered after the police seized documents in raids carried out last December in the city. The man and the boy had been under police surveillance since then.

The two were arrested and charged after raids on Sydney homes Thursday, the police said.

The boy lives with his family in suburban Sydney, and the man is from another Sydney suburb.

The three other men who were being questioned on Thursday morning about this latest case were already in custody after being detained late last year in police raids.

Catherine Burn, deputy commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force, said it was disturbing that a schoolboy had been arrested. The police said he was 14 when he first came to their notice. “To be putting a 15-year-old before the courts on very serious charges that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment demonstrates the difficulties law enforcement face,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.

She said the two suspects charged Thursday had links to a 15-year-old boy, Farhad Jabar, who shot and killed a police accountant, Curtis Cheng, in October in Parramatta, west of Sydney.

Source: New York Times
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