An ISIS cell’s plan to behead random members of the public in Sydney and Brisbane has been thwarted by anti-terrorism police in sweeping raids this morning. Here’s what you need to know about the Islamic State in Australia.
1. ISIS’ Senior Australia Member Organized the Attack
Omarjan Azari, 22, believed to be Australia’s most senior Islamic State member, reportedly called for random beheadings against the Australian public residing in the Sydney and Brisbane suburbs. Azari allegedly communicated these orders over the phone to ISIS underling Mohammad Ali Baryalei, 33, a part-time actor and bar bouncer.
Baryalei recorded these demands on camera and sent the video to ISIS’ media department in the Middle East to be released to its members. Baryalei is a known ISIS recruiter.
Together Azari and Baryalei recruited 15 Australians to partake in the random beheadings. The majority of these Australians recruited come from Afghan descent.
2. Australian Anti-Terrorism Intercepted Azari’s Phone Call
Because of Azari’s known affiliation to ISIS, Australian anti-terrorism already had his phones tapped and countermeasures were taken with raids this morning.
…during the raids in Brisbane, police arrested some suspects who had machetes, balaclavas and military fatigues in preparation to carry out the similar and simultaneous attacks.
Various individuals also had ISIS flags, known as the Black Standard, in their possession.
3. ‘Operation Appleby’ Involved More Than 800 Officers
The raids against the ISIS cell were named Operation Appleby and included more than 800 officers in the Sydney area and 70 individual raids around Brisbane, according to Yahoo! News Australia.
The Sydney suburbs include Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill, and Regents Park.
A similar raid was conducted in Queensland last week, but only two men with ISIS affiliations were arrested there.
4. One Suspect Claims to Have Been Assaulted by Officers
— DOAM (@doammuslims) September 18, 2014
Maywand Osman was amond the suspects targeted and claims to have been assaulted by the officers during the raids.
They asked me to raise my hands. I immediately raised my hands. Four officers then jumped at me and one punched me in the face.
They threw me to the ground and started hitting me in the head and pulling my hair.
Counterterrorism officers found nothing in his home.
He has since hired a lawyer.
5. Australia’s Terrorism Alert Level Has Been Raised
Australia’s government-managed terrorism alert level has been raised to “high,” signaling the likelihood of another attempted attack.