On Friday, June 9, over 150 police and security personnel took part in counter-terrorism raids in Melbourne, resulting in one man being charged in connection to the June 5 attack in Brighton that left one man dead and three police officers injured. The 30-year-old man, who has a previous criminal record, is being charged with illegal position of a firearm and committing an offense while on bail. Two other individuals were questioned by police. A laptop, a fake gun, and other evidence were also seized during the raids.
A police spokesman stated that all individuals apprehended and questioned during the raids were suspected of involvement in the provision of firearms to the Brighton attacker.
A single gunman, identified by Melbourne police as Yacqub Khayre, took a woman hostage in a residential building in Melbourne's Brighton neighborhood during the evening of Monday, June 5. Police officers responded to the area at around 16:00 (local time) and shot and killed Khayre after he came out of the building with a weapon and opened fire. Three police officers were shot and injured during the incident and one man was later found dead inside the building. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the incident on a news agency linked to the group despite the fact that the gunman is reported to have claimed allegiance to both IS and Al-Qa'ida, seen by many as a rival terrorist group. Officials stated that it remains unclear if the attack was planned or spontaneous or if there was any direct involvement of a terrorist organization.
Australian security forces have become increasingly worried about homegrown extremism, with the terrorist threat level being raised in September 2014. Australian officials say they have now prevented more than ten terrorist attacks over the past two years.
Individuals in Melbourne are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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