More teenagers arrested in terror raids

May 15, 2015
Some of the police needed to arrest a 17-year-old in suburban Melbourne who possessed butane canisters. May 8.

Large numbers of heavily armed federal and Victorian police raided a house in the northern Melbourne suburb of Greenvale on May 8.

A 17-year-old male was arrested and charged with “terrorism related offences” after appearing in court on May 11.

“Balaclava-clad officers with assault rifles stood guard around a two-storey home while heavily-armoured vehicles blocked off the street,” the ABC reported on May 9.

A 14-year-old boy was questioned after raids in Sydney on the same day. The police have not said whether the raids in Melbourne and Sydney were connected.

Bomb squad officers in blast suits and a bomb disposal robot were involved in the raids. Police reported that explosives found in the house were detonated in nearby parkland.

The May 9 Herald Sun showed a picture of explosives taken by police – butane canisters that can legally be bought in hardware shops.

As with other arrests under Australian anti-terror laws, investigations and prosecutions can be made while keeping evidence secret. But at the same time the police can release information to the media, which reports the allegations as fact.

The April 18 arrest of five teenagers in south-east Melbourne is thus referred to in the media as the “foiled Anzac Day terror plot”, despite no evidence of a plot being presented other than that two knives were found in the raid.

The latest raid has become the “foiled Mother’s Day terror plot”. Police have said the two “plots” are not connected.

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