Australian police have arrested a 20 year-old planning to attack the city of Melbourne on New Year's Eve.
The man, Ali Khalif Shire, was planning to carry out a mass shooting using an automatic rifle downtown in Federation Square, the main site of New Year's Eve celebrations in Australia's second largest city. Last year, about half a million people celebrated at the site. Police say, had not yet acquired the weapon and was acting alone. While the man was an Australian citizen, he has Somalian parents and had been monitored by authorities since the beginning of the year as he was suspected of having ISIS sympathies.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said:
"He's accessed documents produced by al-Quaeda Arabian Peninsula which is a guide book in respect to how to commit a terrorist act and how to use firearms, guns, and handguns and rifles. We're alleging that...he is a sympathizer of ISIS."
He went on to say:
"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."
Shire will be charged with terrorism offenses that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.