World Bulletin / News Desk
Australian police arrested five men in counter-terrorism raids in the state of Victoria on Saturday morning, two in relation to an alleged planned attack at a ceremony commemorating a World War I battle in Turkey.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement that following a series of raids in metropolitan Melbourne five people had been arrested.
"We are expecting three to be charged. Two will be charged with preparing a terrorist act. The act that we believe was in preparation involved attacks against police officers on ANZAC Day."
He added that authorities believed the "potential attack was inspired by the Daesh death cult in the Middle East."
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, many of whom fought in the 1915 Battle of Canakkale - known as Gallipoli in Australia. The ANZAC legend is central to the Australian identity.
All of the men are reported to be teenagers.
Acting Victoria Police Commissioner Tim Cartwright said weapons confiscated in the raid were all edged, not firearms.
A series of events are planned across Australia next week to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the landings at Canakkale.
Premier Daniel Andrews said that security would be boosted at the April 25 dawn service and march, while Abbott urged those thinking of attending ANZAC Day events not to be deterred.
"Turn up in the largest possible numbers to support our country, to support our values and to support our armed forces," he said.
"The best sign of defiance that we can give to those who would do us harm is to go about a normal, peaceful, free and fair Australian life.""
Abbott underlined that there would be a strong police presence at all major public events over the Anzac period and there had been "the closest possible liaison and the closest possible cooperation between Australia and Turkey in the lead up to the event."
"There will be a very strong security presence on the Gallipoli peninsula. My advice is that almost 4,000 Turkish police and security personnel will be deployed," he added
According to Abbot, around 100 Australians are fighting with "terrorist groups" in the Middle East, particularly ISIL.
"We've got about 150 Australians who are supporting those people through recruiting and fundraising... We've had about 30 Australians killed fighting with these various terrorist groups in the Middle East and we've had about 100 passports cancelled."
"This is a serious issue," he underlined.Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Nisan 2015, 17:21