Report Details Alleged Plot in Australia
Members of an alleged Islamic terrorist cell in Sydney stockpiled bomb-making materials, trained at outback hunting camps and sized up Australia’s only nuclear reactor as a possible target, according to a police report released Monday.
In the 20-page glimpse into Australia’s biggest terrorism investigation, police said the eight suspects arrested last week had the know-how and were assembling chemicals, detonators, digital timers and batteries to carry out a major bomb attack.
A nuclear reactor used to make radioactive medical supplies on the edge of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, was listed as a possible target, the report says.
The eight men have been charged with conspiring to make explosives for use in a terrorist act. Ten other men, including a radical Sunni Muslim cleric, were arrested in Melbourne on charges of being members of a terrorist group.
All 18 could face life imprisonment if convicted.
Australia has never been hit by a serious terrorist attack, but its citizens have been targeted elsewhere. Islamic militants have been angered by the government’s staunch support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq and for sending troops there and to Afghanistan.