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Sydney police raids arrested seven teens for alleged extremist ideology

Sydney police raids arrested seven teens for alleged extremist ideology

Sydney police raids arrested seven teens for alleged extremist ideology

Sydney police raids arrested seven teens for alleged extremist ideology

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  • Seven teenagers were arrested in Sydney for suspected plotting an attack.
  • Suspects are believed to share a “religiously motivated violent extremist ideology.”
  • Raises linked to the stabbing of an Assyrian bishop, were declared a “terrorist act.”
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Australian police have arrested seven teenagers as part of a wave of counter-terrorism raids across Sydney, asserting it was “likely” that the youths may have been plotting an attack. Police say the suspects share a “religiously motivated violent extremist ideology.” The raids are connected to last week’s stabbing of an Assyrian bishop, which police declared a “terrorist act.”

Police say the offenders were “juveniles” aged from 15 to 17.

Investigators allege that the teenagers belong to the same network as the 16-year-old boy who has been charged with a terror offense about the stabbing of Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, which occurred during a live-streamed sermon.

At least four people suffered “non-threatening” injuries after the attack in the western Sydney suburb of Wakeley. The 16-year-old was also hurt.

“From that initial [Wakeley] incident, several associates were identified that we believe warranted further close attention and investigation,” NSW Police Deputy Commissioner David Hudson told media on Wednesday.

Mr. Hudson stated that the youths were all “linked in a common purpose” and posed an “unacceptable risk and threat” to the public. Five others are also assisting with police inquiries.

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He added that all had been under surveillance following the incident at Christ The Good Shepherd Church last Monday and that police had intercepted the group because “it was likely an attack might ensue.” However, no specific plan or target had been identified.

The state’s joint counterterrorism team continues to conduct an ongoing investigation.

400 police officers were involved in Wednesday’s raids, executing search warrants at thirteen locations across southwest Sydney.

The Christ The Good Shepherd Church, located in Wakeley, is home to much of Australia’s Assyrian Christian community, many of whom have fled persecution and war in Iraq and parts of Iran, Turkey, and Syria.

Bishop Emmanuel, the victim of last week’s stabbing, is widely known in the community and has a huge following online.

He is a divisive figure, known for his ultra-conservative and often controversial views on issues such as same-sex marriage and the Islamic faith. During the pandemic, he also opposed government lockdowns and spoke out against vaccines.

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Authorities have declined to state the religion of his alleged teenage attacker.

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