- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Police in Australia say they’ve uncovered and halted a plot by Islamic State terrorists to carry out untold numbers of beheadings in and around Sydney on Thursday.

Nearly 800 federal and state law enforcement officers banded together to raid more than a dozen homes in the capital city, arresting more than a dozen, The Associated Press reported. Police say they uncovered intelligence that indicated an Islamic State chief in the Middle East was calling for supporters in Australia to murder, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, AP reported.

“That’s the intelligence we received,” he said during a press conference. “The exhortations — quite direct exhortations — were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.”

Mr. Abbott also emphasized: “This is not suspicion. This is intent, and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have,” AP reported.

Also on Thursday, Attorney General George Brandis confirmed that an individual who was born in Afghanistan and who works with Islamic State — and who had lived for a time in Australia — did in fact order followers to behead Australians and videotape their massacres.

“If the … police had not acted today, there is a likelihood that this would have happened,” Mr. Brandis said, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The Australian who reportedly ordered the beheadings was not named.

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