The jihadis were deeply religious. Devout. Cue the mental illness clown chorus.
This terror cell prayed every day at mosque and at home. Respect it!
MSN, November 19,2018:
Three men arrested on suspicion of plotting a terror attack in Melbourne had tried to source a semi-automatic rifle to kill as many people as possible in a crowded space, police have alleged.
The men, who are aged between 21 and 30, are from the city’s northern suburbs, and had been under surveillance since March, police said.
They said the men — two of whom are brothers — were inspired by the Islamic State terror group.
All three men have been charged with one count each of acting in preparation for, or planning of terrorist acts.
The men were arrested in counterterrorism raids this morning after their intentions of carrying out a mass killing “escalated” this week, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
Mr Ashton said the men had not decided on a specific location for the attack.
“There was a view towards a crowded place where maximum people would be attending to be able to kill, we allege, a maximum amount of people as possible,” he said.
“[They were] certainly inspired by ISIS, we know that.”
The raids were conducted from 3:00am and involved more than 200 officers from Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and ASIO.
Mr Ashton declined to name the men, but said all three were Australian nationals whose passports were cancelled this year.
One of the men’s passports was cancelled in January, another in March and the third last month, he said.
“All three people are Australian nationals of Turkish background,” Mr Ashton said.
A fourth property was searched at Coolaroo.
One of the properties raided by police is in Dallas, in Melbourne’s north.© ABC News/James Oaten One of the properties raided by police is in Dallas, in Melbourne’s north.
Trio ‘energised’ in past week
Mr Ashton said the men had made attempts in the past few days to obtain a 0.22 semi-automatic rifle to carry out the attack, but would not confirm if attempts were made to obtain more than one rifle.
“Recently, over about the last week, they’ve become more energised so there’s certainly been a lot of publicity and talk about terrorism and certainly public place activity,” Mr Ashton said.
“We had the Bourke Street [car attack] trial on as well so there was certainly a lot of public awareness around mass casualties and terrorism over recent times.
“I don’t know whether that’s played a role or not. But certainly over the last week they’ve become energised about doing something more quickly.”
He said two of the men had no criminal history, while one had a minor record for failing to display L plates in 2007.
“Other than that there’s no criminal history or background, certainly no bail or anything like that applying in this case,” he said.
Mr Ashton said the trio’s use of encrypted communications made it difficult for police and intelligence agencies to discern their plans.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been pushing for new laws to make it easier for authorities to access messages sent through encrypted messaging apps.
n More than 200 officers from Victoria Police and federal agencies were involved in the raids.
Consequences ‘would have been chilling’
AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney said if police and intelligence agencies had not acted decisively, many people might have been killed.
“We’ll allege the consequences would have been chilling, with … a potential significant loss of human life,” he said.
He said the charges the men would face carried a penalty of life in prison.
Assistant Commissioner McCartney said 90 people had been charged in relation to 40 counterterrorism investigations across Australia since September 2014, when the national threat level was raised.
He said the men’s passports were cancelled because of concerns they intended to travel to a “conflict zone”.
“At the time the decision was made, the concern was that they would travel offshore and may be involved in terrorist activity offshore,” Assistant Commissioner McCartney said.
He said it was important to note that authorities did not believe the attack was directed by ISIS.
“It’s an attack that’s been inspired by ISIS, driven by the propaganda machine, and unfortunately people are still listening to that propaganda machine.”
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther said when radicalised people had their passports cancelled, they often turned their attention to organising attacks in their home country.
“When people are prevented from travelling or it’s difficult to get to the conflict zone, often the view will be, ‘Well I’ll change tack and commit an act in the country [in] which I live’. We’ve seen that all over the world,” Assistant Commissioner Guenther said.
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