Five Australian teenagers were arrested today on suspicion of plotting an Islamic State group-inspired terrorist attack at a Veterans' Day ceremony next Saturday that included targeting police officers, officials said. Police said they believe the plot was to have involved "edged weapons." "At this stage, we have no information that it was a planned beheading. But there was reference to an attack on police," a police official told reporters. "Some evidence that we have collected at a couple of the scenes, and some other information we have, leads us to believe that this particular matter was ISIS-inspired."
The suspects included two 18-year-olds who are alleged to have been preparing an attack at the ANZAC Day ceremony in Melbourne later this month. Another 18-year-old was arrested on weapons charges, and two other men, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting police. All the arrests took place in Melbourne. ANZAC Day is the annual April 25 commemoration of the 1915 Gallipoli landings—the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I. Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said at a separate news conference that the teens had links to Numan Haider, an 18-year-old who stabbed a Melbourne police officer as he tried to shake Haider's hand in September; the teen was subsequently shot dead. (Read more Australia stories.)