Man's plot to shoot revellers in Melbourne on Dec 31 foiled

Australia police arrest man accused of plotting NYE attack in Melbourne

The man arrested by counter-terrorism police over a planned New Year's Eve attack in Melbourne meant to shoot as many people as he could, police will allege.

He is now being interviewed in relation to the offences of Acts in Preparation to Commit a Terrorist Attack and Collecting Documents to Facilitate a Terrorist Act, contrary to the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act.

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

Police assured people of Victoria that there was "no risk or no threat to the Victorian community" after the man was removed from society.

Thousands of people celebrate each year at the square in Australia's second most-populous city.

Police will provide more detail in a press conference later this morning.

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

Police arrested the man - a Muslim born to Somali parents - after he attempted to purchase an automatic rifle.

Police obtained and executed warrants on Ali's family home in Werribee, a relative's home, and his place of work after he started trying to get a gun. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

"The aim of these terrorists is to foster fear and intimidation, but Australians should be able to go about their business secure in the understanding that the Government has worked very closely with law enforcement and other security agencies to keep them safe", Keenan told reporters.

The foiled plot comes a year after police prevented another attack in the same area on Christmas Day, arresting several men who planned to use explosives, knives and guns to target the location.

The man is the 74th suspect arrested in Australia in 31 counterterrorism investigations since Australia's terrorism threat level was elevated to "probable" in September 2014.

Police said they believe Ali acted alone and do not expect more arrests. He is still being interviewed by a joint police counter-terrorism team.

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