A man has been arrested for allegedly planning a terrorist attack in Melbourne’s Federation Square on New Year’s Eve this year.
The 20-year-old man was arrested yesterday afternoon for his alleged plans to shoot and kill as many people as he could with an automatic rifle.
The young man had sought to purchase, but did not actually acquire, an automatic weapon to commit the “horrendous” attack, Victoria Police deputy commissioner Shane Patton said.
"We have been monitoring him for a very lengthy period of time," Mr Patton said.
"He's an Australian citizen and of Somalian parents."
The young man lives at home with his family which is still being searched by police.
The young man also had an al-Qaeda guidebook on how best to commit terrorist attacks and is an ISIS sympathiser, police allege.
"He has accessed documents produced by al-Qaeda Arabian Peninsula ... a guidebook in respect to how to commit a terrorist act and also how to use firearms, guns and handguns and rifles," Mr Patton said.
"He is associated with other persons in the Victorian extremists community ... it is a very small community of extremists.
"The potential of the attack is catastrophic. This is a person who has expressed an intention to try and kill as many people as he could. It's horrendous.
"This is a person who would become particularly energised when overseas events occurred. He expressed a great amount of interest in committing an attack himself."
Mr Patton assured reporters the man was a lone wolf and they are not searching for any other suspects.
Around 450,000 people ring in the New Year in Melbourne’s CBD each year.