Aussies Foil Terrorist Attack
Believe Attack on Scale of London or Madrid Was Planned
AUSTRALIAN security agencies appear to have averted a major terrorist attack on home soil with a series of dramatic raids on a suspected terrorist network this morning.
Sixteen people were arrested and are facing terrorism-related charges.
Government and police officials said today some of the group had been stockpiling chemicals to make an explosive device.
Some of the alleged terrorists appeared in court today. Among them was Adbul Nacer Benbrika, the radical Islamic cleric also known as Abu Bakr.
Benbrika was quoted in The Age in August as saying "I must preach holy war".
"My religion doesn't tolerate other religion...Jihad is a part of my religion."
Adbul Nacer Benbrika
A Melbourne radical Islamic teacher last night described Osama bin Laden as "a great man" and declared he would be betraying his religion if he told students not to train in terrorist camps.It now appears that the Australians kept a very close watch on Abu Bakr.
Abdul Nacer Benbrika, also known as Abu Bakr, said: "My religion doesn't tolerate other religion...Jihad is a part of my religion."
ASIO revoked Mr Benbrika's passport earlier this year, the ABC reported, and it recently raided and questioned him. But although it took papers, charges had not been laid.