Police thwart Mother’s Day bomb attacks in Melbourne and Sydney

Counter-terrorism raids in Melbourne and Sydney have foiled bomb attacks planned for Mother’s Day.

As part of the joint operation Amberd between the Victorian Police and the Australian Federal Police, a residence in the suburb of Greenvale in Melbourne’s north was searched and a 17-year old  teenager was arrested on terrorism charges including possessing explosives and undertaking preparations for planning a terrorist act.

Residents told the Nine Network that police used a loud speaker to demand the occupants of the house come out.

A man came out with his hands behind his head, followed by several women who were escorted to a nearby area by police.

Police didn’t confirm if the foiled attack was planned for May 10.

Three explosive devices were found in the house and were subsequently taken to a nearby park where they were rendered safe via a controlled detonation, police said.

Victoria Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Robert Hill said the operation has prevented an imminent threat.

“What yesterday’s operation demonstrates is that we are ready. Our actions were methodical, measured and precise,” he said.

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in a smaller raid in Sydney, News Corp has reported.  The report hasn’t been confirmed yet and it is not clear if the operation was linked to the Melbourne raid.

According to previous media reports, the arrested teen was unusually active on Facebook in recent weeks, posting and commenting on the war in Syria and Iraq.

The Herald Sun quoted a friend of the arrested teen as saying “he is a very quiet boy. He cannot drive. His father is a doctor and cannot allow him to do anything wrong”.