Australia Arrests 7 Teens in 'Major Operation'

Arrests made in connection with stabbing of priest and bishop in early April
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2024 12:30 AM CDT
Sydney Church Stabbing Leads to Arrest of 7 Teens
FILE - Flowers sit on a fence outside the Christ the Good Shepherd church in suburban Wakely in western Sydney, Australia, on April 16, 2024.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

After a bishop and a priest were stabbed during a livestreamed church service in Sydney, Australia, earlier this month, police launched a wide-ranging investigation that led to seven boys being arrested Wednesday in what the AP calls a "major operation" by a Joint Counter-Terrorism Team made up of federal and state police, members of Australia's main domestic spy agency, and members of the New South Wales Crime Commission (which focuses on extremists and organized crime). Five of them, ranging in age from 14 to 17, have been charged with offenses ranging from possessing or controlling violent extremist material accessed online to conspiring to engage in or planning a terrorist act.

The other two have not yet been charged, and there are also three other juveniles and two adult men who are being questioned by police but have not been arrested. Police believe the boys "adhered to a religiously motivated, violent extremist ideology" and were part of a network including the 16-year-old boy who is charged with stabbing the two clerics, both of whom survived, Fox News reports. "I can assure the community there is no ongoing threat to the community, and the action we have taken today has mitigated any risk of future or further harm," a deputy police commissioner said in a statement. (The crime led to a feud between Elon Musk and Australia.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.