'Imminent Sydney terror plot' foiled with arrest of teenager
Several sites in Sydney were being considered for the terror attack, Australian Federal Police claimed, suggesting the teenager was eyeing up potential locations across the city.
The unnamed suspect was allegedly on the police radar prior to the arrest when authorities stopped him from travelling to Syria last February, it has emerged.
"Since that time, he has been under the surveillance of the relevant authorities who have decided this morning to act to prevent an imminent terrorist event," Attorney-General George Brandis told reporters, without giving precise details of potential targets.
The Sydney teen who attempt to join militant groups overseas is now expected to be charged for acting in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act, which has a maximum penalty of life in prison according to Australian law.
He will also likely be charged with "preparing for an act of foreign incursion".
"This is the ninth occasion since the national terrorism alert level was raised (to high) in September 2014 that police have successfully intervened to prevent an imminent terrorism event on Australian soil," Brandis added.
Australian police increased security measures across the country with several raids on properties in Melbourne, more than 800 kilometres away from Sydney.
The raids resulted in the detainment of five men who allegedly wanted to travel to Syria via Indonesia on a boat.
Since late 2014, a string of operations have seen several suspects arrested under terror-charges.
In April, a 16-year-old boy was charged with preparing an attack linked to Anzac Day services honouring Australian soldiers in Sydney.
Other arrests saw a 17-year-old boy picked up in a raid in Melbourne a year ago, allegedly with "improvised explosive devices" in his family home.
Australian authorities passed numerous national security laws including legislation allowing passports to be cancelled to prevent Australians from leaving the country.
Dozens of Australians have joined the Islamic State group since it gained notoriety in recent years.