Australia Foils Gruesome ISIS Beheading Plot

In largest raids in country's history, 15 are detained
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2014 6:02 AM CDT
Updated Sep 18, 2014 7:56 AM CDT
Australia Foils Gruesome ISIS Beheading Plot
Australian Federal Police Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin, left, and New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, right, describe how 800 police officers raided more than 24 properties.   (Rick Rycroft)

Fifteen people have been detained in Australia, and police there say that in so doing, they have thwarted a plot to carry out a random beheading in Sydney. More than a dozen properties across Sydney were raided today by a force of 800 federal and state police officers, making it the largest such effort in Australian history, reports the AP. The raids came in response to intelligence that an ISIS group leader in the Middle East was calling on Australian supporters to kill, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Reuters reports on the specifics of the alleged plot: Grab a person at random in Sydney, drape them in the black flag of ISIS, and kill them on camera.

Australia's ABC News reports that people in Brisbane were also to be targeted, and that any video was to be handed over to an ISIS media unit that would disseminate it. Attorney General George Brandis confirmed that a person born in Afghanistan who had spent time in Australia and is now working with ISIS in the Middle East ordered supporters in Australia to behead people and videotape the executions. Abbott and Brandis did not name the Australian. But Mohammad Ali Baryalei, who is believed to be Australia's most senior member of ISIS, was named as a co-conspirator in court documents filed today. Police have issued an arrest warrant for the 33-year-old former Sydney nightclub bouncer, who ABC News reports allegedly handed out the orders. (Read more Australia stories.)

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