Australian police have arrested a man they allege was planning to carry out a terror attack during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Melbourne.
The 20-year-old man, who was arrested on Monday, will be charged with terrorism offences carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison, police said.
Authorities allege the man planned to shoot people with an automatic gun at Federation Square in the city centre.
There is no ongoing threat to the public, police said.
Police said the man had not obtained an automatic weapon by the time of his arrest in the suburb of Werribee.
“What we will be alleging is that he was intending to use a firearm to shoot and kill as many people as he could,” Victoria Police deputy commissioner Shane Patton told reporters on Tuesday.
He said the man was born in Australia to Somali parents and had been monitored by police as a “person of interest” since January.
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Police alleged that the man had obtained an al-Qaeda manual from the internet with instructions for staging a terrorist attack, and was a sympathiser of so-called Islamic State.
He had connections with extremists, Mr Patton said.
Search warrants were executed at the man’s home, a business where had worked, and a relative’s property.
Police said the arrest was not linked to previous operations.