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Australia: Man planning terror attack arrested by police
December 18 2017, 02:53 | Irvin Gilbert
Cops bust college student who planned New Year's Eve attack
"The potential of the attack was catastrophic", said Patton.
"What we will be alleging is that he was intending to use a firearm to shoot and kill as many people as he could in the Federation Square area on New Year's Eve", Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said.
Police claim Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, planned to get his hands on an automatic rifle and shoot as many people as he could during celebrations at Federation Square - where thousands gather every December 31 to watch fireworks, the BBC reported.
The man allegedly tried to obtain an automatic rifle to carry out the attack, but was unable to.
Police alleged that the man had obtained an al-Qaeda manual from the internet with instructions for staging a terrorist attack, and was a sympathiser of so-called Islamic State.
(AAP) Thousands of people in Federation Square previous year.
He was born in Australia and this is his first time in custody.
British authorities discovered that Besim was having discussions with a British teenager who subsequently became the youngest person to ever be convicted for extremism-related offenses in the country.
He's accused of plotting a mass shooting during New Year's Eve celebration, and has been charged with preparing to commit a terrorist attack and collecting documents to facilitate a terrorist attack.
"Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police would like to reassure the community that the threat has been contained and there is no on-going risk posed by this individual", a Victoria Police statement said.
Security has been ramped up in recent years, particularly last year after police foiled a Christmas Day terror plot.
Investigations are ongoing, but police say they "do not anticipate any further arrests".