Trio arrested over Melbourne mosque attack
THREE men are expected to be charged with engaging in a terrorist act in relation to last year's firebombing of a mosque in Melbourne.
The Imam Ali Islamic Centre mosque in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner was gutted by fire on December 11.
A 29-year-old man from Meadow Heights was arrested on Saturday night after police pulled over his vehicle. The Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team was expected to charge that man yesterday - along with two other men, aged 25 and 27 - with engaging in a terrorist act.
The 25-year-old and 27-year-old are already in police custody and awaiting trail for planning a terrorist attack on or around Christmas Day last year.
The three men would face a maximum penalty of life in jail if found guilty over the mosque attack.
The Australian Federal Police's national manager of counter-terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney, said any attack on a place of worship was a serious crime.
"It is clear that these arson attacks were designed to intimidate and influence those that attend this mosque and the wider Islamic community,” he said.
"These actions have no place in our society.
"Individuals or groups who think they are above the law when it comes to this type of intimidation should think again.
"This operation is another example of the strength of the co-operation between agencies in the JCTT and the collaborative approach we take to investigating terrorism offences.
"We are committed to doing everything we can to keep all Australians safe.”
Victoria's Counter Terrorism Command Assistant Commissioner Ross Guenther said police would "not tolerate this kind of behaviour in our community”.
The Imam Ali Islamic Centre had been targeted in two previous arson attacks, on May 14 and November 24 last year.