Melbourne terror raids: Third teenager charged

A house in Hallam, a suburb of Melbourne, where police made one of several arrest during terror raids in Melbourne, Australia, Image copyright EPA
Image caption Two hundred officers were involved in Saturday's raids, including at this house in Hallam

Police in Australia have charged a third teenager with terrorism-related offences following raids in Melbourne at the weekend.

The 18-year-old, Harun Causevic, had been held on a preventative detention order but was released on Monday night and then re-arrested.

He appeared in court on Tuesday, according to local media.

He was one of five teenagers arrested over an alleged plot to carry out an attack during an Anzac memorial event.

Two of the teenagers have since been released but two others were charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts.

Police said in a statement that one of them, Sevdet Besim, had been remanded in custody and would appear in court again on Friday.

The other was an 18-year-old who was also charged on weapons offences.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Monday that a 14-year-old boy from Blackburn in the UK has also been held over the alleged terror plot in Melbourne.

Police said that he had been detained after officers searched some of his electronic devices and found messages to a man in Australia.

Image copyright AAP
Image caption Victorian authorities are urging people to attend Anzac Day services on Saturday

The messages on devices linked to the boy led to the Melbourne raids, UK police have said.

A team of UK officers have now arrived in Australia to help with the joint investigation.

On Tuesday, the premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, said that a "sign of strength and unity" was needed in the wake of these incidents.

He urged people to attend Anzac Day services later this week.

"This is not about faith. This is an affront to faith. This sort of conduct has got nothing to do with religious observance at all," Mr Andrews said, according to ABC News.

'Excessive force'

Nearly 200 police officers took part in the Melbourne operation early on Saturday morning.

Once of the five teenagers arrested has since complained of mistreatment during the raids.

Some of the men's families have also accused the police of using excessive force.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright said that police were investigating the complaints.

Police have said that the men were "associates" of Abdul Numan Haider, a teenager shot dead in September after he stabbed two officers.

Anzac Day is an annual day of remembrance for servicemen and women from Australia and New Zealand. A series of events are planned this week to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Australia raised its threat level to high last September and has since carried out a series of counter-terrorism raids.

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