Australian police arrest 18-year-old, likely to face 'terror' charges

This content was published on December 9, 2020 - 07:29

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian police arrested on Wednesday an 18-year man who had allegedly expressed interest in committing a mass causality attack, motivated by right-wing ideology.

Police said they expect to lay charges on Wednesday against the unidentified man from Albury, a small town 553 km (344 miles) southwest of Sydney.

"The male we've arrested has an extremely right-wing ideology and is focused on neo-Nazi, white supremacist and anti-Semitic material," Australian Federal Police Assistant Commission Scott Lee told reporters in Sydney.

"A couple of days ago what we observed was an escalation in the tone which went to a support of a mass casualty event, and potentially his involvement in that event."

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has been on heightened alert against the threat of home-grown radicals after several “lone wolf” attacks in recent years.

A white supremacist gunman from Australia killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand last year..

Australian intelligence agencies have regularly warned of an increased threat by right-wing aligned individuals since then.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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