Islamic cell BUSTED less than a week after body objected to 'terror' label

Australian authorities have made seven arrests in connection with a recent terrorist attack in Sydney, targeting individuals linked to religiously motivated violent extremism.

Islamic cell BUSTED less than a week after body objected to 'terror' label
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Australia's Joint Counter Terrorist Team (JCTT) in Sydney has apprehended seven individuals during raids across the city following a recent terrorist attack on a religious leader in Western Sydney.

It comes less than a week after the Islamic Council of NSW objected to police's classification of a stabbing at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley as a terror attack.

That incident, carried out by a Jihadi who shouted "Allahu Akbar," targeted Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel.

Despite the attacker's claim that he acted because the priest disrespected Islam, ICNSW argued against labelling it as terrorism, citing the perpetrator's 'known mental health issues.'

However, today's shocking arrests confirm fears of an extreme Islamic cell as New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner David Hudson stated: "We will allege that these individuals adhere to a religiously motivated violent extremist ideology."

According to Hudson, these targeted individuals posed a significant threat to public safety. Over 400 federal and NSW police officers executed thirteen search warrants on Wednesday morning.

The ongoing search has resulted in seven arrests, with five individuals currently assisting police with further inquiries.

The investigation, spanning seven days, involved intense scrutiny and surveillance of the targeted individuals. Mr. Hudson stressed the urgency of the situation, stating: "If they were to commit any act, we would not be able to prevent that."

The arrests included seven juveniles known to each other, with some closely associated and others connected through various means.

Deputy Commissioner Kriss Barrett of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) revealed that raids targeted multiple locations in southwest Sydney, resulting in the arrest of juveniles allegedly linked to a violent extremist ideology.

She highlighted the swift action taken by the JCTT to disrupt these individuals and assured the public of no specific imminent threats.

The arrests follow riots sparked by the stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel during an evening sermon, which was live-streamed on Facebook.

The alleged offender, a 16-year-old, has been charged with a terrorism offence. Despite claims from the boy's parents denying his radicalisation, evidence found on electronic devices substantiated the charges, according to AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw.

Authorities have reiterated that there is no current threat to public safety and no connection to Anzac Day commemorations.

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