Australia: Police arrest several over Sydney church stabbing

Australia: Police arrest several over Sydney church stabbing
Australia: Police arrest several over Sydney church stabbing

Australian police arrested seven people in connection with an investigation into a 16-year-old accused of stabbing a priest in western Sydney. Officials said those arrested represented an “unacceptable risk and threat.”

Australian police on Wednesday arrested seven people in raids in Sydney in connection with a stabbing at a church last week.

Police said those arrested posed an “unacceptable risk and threat” to the public and adhered to a “religiously motivated extremist ideology.”

What else do we know about the police raids in Sydney?

Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Hudson said it was “likely” the group investigated in the raids could be plotting an attack but that no specific target had been determined.

“Their behavior, whilst under surveillance, led us to believe that, if they were to commit any act, we would not be able to prevent that,” he said. “We believed, through the investigation, that it was likely that an attack might ensue.”

Police said all the offenders were juveniles. Five of those arrested were cooperating with police inquiries.

The raids involved 400 officers.

The Australian secret service, ASIO, confirmed it was involved in the investigations.

Also on Wednesday, an Australian Federal Court judge extended an order banning social media platform X, formerly Twitter, from showing videos of the stabbing.

The suspect allegedly spoke in Arabic about the Prophet Muhammad being insulted after he carried out the stabbing. It occurred during a church service that was being live-streamed.

What happened during the stabbing at the Good Shepherd Church in western Sydney?

Earlier this month, a  16-year-old was accused of stabbing a bishop and a reverend at the Good Shepherd Church in the western Sydney suburb of Wakely.

The congregation belongs to the Assyrian Church of the East traditionally based in parts of the Middle East and southern India.

Police declared the stabbing a “terrorist incident” after concluding that it was carried out out of “religious motivated extremism.”

The 50-year-old bishop was taken to hospital in a serious condition. Three other people were treated at the scene for “non-life-threatening injuries.”

On Friday, the teenage suspect in the stabbing was charged with committing a terrorist act. If found guilty, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Source: Dw

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