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Police foil Melbourne New Year's Eve 'terror plot'

29 November 2017

A man has been arrested by counter-terrorism police for allegedly plotting a New Year's Eve terror attack in Melbourne.

He meant to use a firearm and kill as much as possible at Federative Square during New Year's Eve, "said Victoria Deputy Chief of Police, Shane Patton".

Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, from Werribee, Victoria, was arrested on Synnot Street on Melbourne's outskirts by officials of Victoria police, the Australian Federal police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) around 3 p.m. local time Monday (11 p.m. EST Sunday).

"This is a person who would become particularly energized. when overseas events occurred and would express a great deal of interest in committing an attack himself", Patton told public broadcaster ABC.

Police claim he accessed a guide online produced by Al-Qaeda on how to commit terror acts and use firearms, but was arrested before he could buy an automatic rifle.

Patton said the suspect was born in Australia to Somali parents and had been monitored by police as a "person of interest" since January.

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Ali, 20, was charged Tuesday with gathering documents for and preparing to commit a terrorist attack.

Police allege a man plotted to shoot as many people as he could on New Year's Eve at Melbourne's Federation Square.

"The operation is ongoing, however the main lines of enquiry have been completed and at this time police do not anticipate further arrests". People convicted of those crimes in Australia face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Search warrants were executed at the man's home, a business where he had worked, and a relative's property.

IEDs in Melbourne, Aug 2016: Counterterrorism police disrupt an alleged domestic terrorist attack in Melbourne, potentially involving improvised explosive devices.

Australian police have charged 74 people in counter-terrorism investigations since 2014, the BBC reports.

Police foil Melbourne New Year's Eve 'terror plot'