Speed Reads

ISIS down under

Australian police raid suspected ISIS supporters to thwart random public beheadings

On Thursday, more than 800 Australian federal and state police raided 15 houses and 10 cars in Sydney, arresting 15 people and breaking up what Prime Minister Tony Abbott said was a plot by local ISIS supporters to carry out and videotape the beheadings of random victims. "This is not just suspicion, this is intent, and that's why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have," he said.

Thursday's pre-dawn raid was the largest in Australia's history, and comes a few days after the government raised the threat level in response to the perceived threat from ISIS supporters in Australia. An Australian senior ISIS leader, reported by The Associated Press to be Mohammad Ali Baryalei, called for followers to "gruesomely" kill strangers to "shock and horrify" the Australian public, prosecutor Michael Allnutt said later Thursday, at the hearing of one of the men captured in the raid, Omarjan Azari, 22. The plot required an "unusual level of fanaticism," Allnutt added.