Australian police forces have arrested five teenagers for planning to purportedly launch an ISIL (Daesh)-inspired terrorist attack.
According to Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan on Saturday, the arrested individuals were plotting to carry out a terrorist attack using "edged weapons" at the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ceremonies in the southeastern city of Melbourne.
The ceremony is held annually on April 25 to commemorate the country’s first major military operations in 1915 during World War I.
"At this stage, we have no information that it was a planned beheading. But there was reference to an attack on police," he said, adding, "Some evidence that we have collected at a couple of the scenes, and some other information we have, leads us to believe that this particular matter was ISIS (ISIL)-inspired."
Earlier in the day, Australia’s Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan stated that the teens were affiliated with Numan Haider, a 18-year-old ISIL sympathizer, who stabbed two police forces and was later gunned down in Melbourne last September.
Phelan added that the Australian forces had kept tabs on the arrested teens for months.
"This is a new paradigm for police. These types of attacks that are planned are very rudimentary and simple.... All you need these days is a knife, a flag and a camera and one can commit a terrorist act," he warned.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot called on the public to take part in the ANZAC Day ceremony to show their solidarity in the face of rising terrorist threats.
"The best sign of defiance we can give to those who would do us harm is to go about a normal, peaceful, free and fair Australian life," he said, adding, "And I say to everyone who is thinking of going to an ANZAC Day event, please don't be deterred. Turn up in the largest possible numbers to support our country."
Back in December 2014, a gunman believed to represent the ISIL terrorist group took 18 people hostage in a 16-hour siege at a Sydney cafe. Two hostages died during the standoff and the gunman was shot dead by police.
The ISIL terrorist group, with members from several Western countries, controls swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, and has been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.
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