Australian police arrested five men overnight, foiling an alleged terror plot planned for Melbourne on Christmas Day, officials announced Friday morning at a press conference. The suspects reportedly planned to attack areas in the center of the city, including Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, and St. Paul's Cathedral. The plot "involved explosives and possibly knives or guns," ABC News reported.
The arrests were made in overnight raids, during which police say they uncovered the "makings of an improvised explosive device." The five suspects, all Australian citizens, are between the ages of 21 and 26; four of the five men were born in Australia, and one was born in Egypt. Investigators said the suspects were "self-radicalized but certainly inspired by ISIS and ISIS propaganda."
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it "one of the most substantial terrorist plots that have been disrupted over the last several years."