Australian police arrest 18-year-old on ‘terror’ charges

FILE - In this April 2, 2019, file photo, police acting superintendent Mike McIlraith shows New Zealand lawmakers an AR-15 style rifle similar to one of the weapons a gunman used to slaughter 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques, in Wellington, New Zealand. New Zealand authorities said Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, their country will be a safer place after gun owners handed in more than 50,000 guns during a buyback program after the government banned assault weapons. But critics say the process was flawed and many owners have illegally stashed their guns.

On Wednesday, Australian police arrested an 18-year man who had expressed interest in committing a mass causality attack, motivated by right-wing ideology.

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

“The male we’ve arrested has a dangerous 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 home-grown radicals’ threat 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 repeatedly warned of an increased threat by right-wing individuals since then.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.