Man Was Plotting New Year's Eve Mass Shooting, Police Say


A man has faced a Melbourne court charged over an alleged New Year's Eve terror plot.

He is now being interviewed by police in relation to offences of act in preparation to commit a terrorist attack and collecting documents to facilitate a terrorist act, and is expected to be charged once the interview process has concluded.

"Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police would like to reassure the community that the threat has been contained and there is no on-going risk posed by this individual", a Victoria Police statement said.

Last year, about 500,000 people celebrated New Year's Eve in Melbourne's city centre.

Victoria Police says the operation is ongoing, however police do not anticipate further arrests.

The man, who was not named, had downloaded instructions from an al-Qaida-linked website on how to launch a terrorist attack and how to use firearms, according to Victoria State Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton (photo, left).

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Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. These included flights operated by KLM, Qantas, AirAsia, and Virgin. "This hasn't endangered any flights", he said.

"This is a person who would become particularly energized, for a lack of a better word, when overseas [terrorism] events occurred and would express a great deal of interest in committing an attack himself", Patton said.

As the end of the year celebrations near, Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan has told the public to expect increased police presence.

Counterterrorism police had been monitoring the latest suspect, a known extremist and a sympathiser of Isis (Islamic State), this year and detained him as he met with people in an attempt to acquire a gun, Patton said. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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

Australia raised the national terror alert level to "probable" in September 2014.

Naval base target, Dec 2015: Two men charged for preparing a terrorist attack, Sydney's Woolloomooloo naval base allegedly a potential target.