Cops bust college student who planned New Year's Eve attack

Cops bust college student who planned New Year's Eve attack

Cops bust college student who planned New Year's Eve attack

He is now being interviewed in relation to the offences of Acts in Preparation to Commit a Terrorist Attack and Collecting Documents to Facilitate a Terrorist Act, contrary to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act.

Police claim Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, planned to get his hands on an automatic rifle and shoot as many people as he could during celebrations at Federation Square - where thousands gather every December 31 to watch fireworks, the BBC reported.

Police released footage of the arrest on Tuesday.

He was taken into custody by the Special Operations Group police just before 3pm in Werribee.

Last year, about 500,000 people celebrated New Year's Eve in Melbourne's city center.

Ali, a student at Swinburne University, had allegedly obtained Al Qaeda documents, including a "guidebook", on how to commit a terrorist act and use firearms.

Victoria Police deputy commissioner Shane Patton (left) and AFP assistant commissioner Ian McCartney. "We have been monitoring him for a very lengthy period of time", he said.

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Divulging details about the perpetrator, Patton said that he was in Police's radar as a man of interest ever since January this year.

"There is no ongoing threat posed in respect to New Year's Eve, Christmas or any other area".

She said there were still search warrants under way to gather evidence for the charges likely to be laid later on Tuesday.

The perpetrator may face a life term in prison.

Police have charged 74 persons in counter-terrorism investigations since 2014.

"I would like to reassure the people of Victoria that the teams in Victoria, but also around Australia, are working day and night".

"The potential of the attack was catastrophic", said Patton.

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