AP News

Australian police arrest man on terror charge

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police said Thursday that they arrested a man in connection with suspected terrorism offenses during raids in which they seized firearms, computer equipment and a USB stick containing what they said were "violent extremist materials."

Officers swooped onto properties in six Melbourne suburbs Wednesday in a simultaneous raid, the Australian Federal Police and Victoria state police said in a joint statement. The name of the 23-year-old man they arrested was not released.

Among the police targets was an Islamic bookstore called the Al-Furqan Islamic Information Centre. The center's representatives did not respond to calls and emails on Thursday, though a spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that police spent about 12 hours inside and took several items.

Steve Fontana, Victoria police assistant commissioner for crime, said police had identified no immediate threats to public safety, "and we will continue to work to ensure that all steps are taken to protect all members of the community."

The man who was arrested was expected to be charged Thursday with collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Police said he was hospitalized with stomach pains on Thursday morning.

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