Police foil alleged attack by suspected right-wing terrorist
Police have swooped on a suspected terrorist allegedly hatching a coordinated plot to blow up an electricity substation to cause mass disruption on the NSW South Coast on the anniversary of the Christchurch mosques massacres.
Counter terror police arrested unemployed Josh Lucas, 21, after a month-long covert operation.
Police claim to have uncovered a plan to detonate a station in Nowra with crude explosives he had purchased on the dark web.
Lucas, who lives with his family in Sanctuary Point, had been increasingly referencing accused Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant on online forums in the run-up to Sunday's one-year anniversary of the New Zealand shootings, police will allege.
He was arrested and charged on Saturday with one count of an act done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts - which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Police believe he was attempting to purchase military equipment and items capable of making explosives.
Officers allegedly unearthed online posts containing a stack of extreme right wing and anti government ideology, electronic devices, tactical equipment and soft gel firearms.
Four registered rifles were seized at a separate residence in Parma.
"A number of people are assisting with our inquiries, the ideologies that led to Christchurch was one of the factors that led to the arrest, we took Christchurch and the date it happened into account," Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Scott Lee told a press conference this morning.
"The man was not known to police, the plan was to deliberately impact the provision of electricity in the area and source weapons prohibited in NSW.", he claimed.
Police are interviewing a number of people they believe are linked to the alleged plot and searching properties on the south coast.
Special Tactics Commander, assistant commissioner Mark Walton, claimed: "We are still searching properties, we found a lot of material on line, it was a Petri dish of hate, anti Semitic, anti government, nazi interests and anti indigenous.
"The level of sophistication the threat posed was low capability attack planning but it was a real threat.
"From our perspective we felt we had to move."
White supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 29, is facing terrorism charges, as well as 51 charges of murder and 40 for attempted murder.
He is expected to go on trial in June.