Police 'foil machete terror plot in Sydney raid'

Australian police say two men were ready to carry out atrocity when raided yesterday

A converted garage where the police carried out the arrest
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Police in Australia say two men arrested with a machete, hunting knife and home-made Islamic State flag in a raid on Tuesday were going to carry out a terror plot later that day.

Australian broadcaster ABC says police believe one of the men had made a video of himself in front of the banner just 20 minutes before police stormed into his suburban Sydney home.

Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, a student originally from Iraq, and Mohammad Kiad, 25, a nurse who came to Australia from Kuwait in 2012 were arrested at their makeshift home in a garage in the suburb of Fairfield and are accused of plotting a terrorist action.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

New South Wales deputy police commissioner Catherine Burn said: "We believe that the men were potentially going to harm somebody, maybe even kill somebody, and potentially using one of the items that we identified and recovered yesterday, potentially a knife."

"When we did the search of the premises, a number of items were located, including a machete, a hunting knife, a home-made flag representing the proscribed terrorist organisation IS, and also a video which depicted a man talking about carrying out an attack.

"I would like to however reassure the community that we are of the view that there is no further imminent attack relating to these two men."

Police say the two were planning to target either beat police officers or a police station, Channel 9 News reports.

According to Sky News Australia, detectives are trying to establish whether the men had been in contact with IS, the Sunni fighters who have set up their own extremist 'state' in Syria and Iraq.

Burn said the "imminent attack" was "consistent with the messaging coming out of IS".

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.