Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (right) and Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan (left) address a media conference in Sydney, about the Victorian anti-terror raids Saturday, April 18, 2015.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (right) and Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan (left) address a media conference in Sydney, about the Victorian anti-terror raids Saturday, April 18, 2015. AAP Image - Sophie Tarr

Three men arrested in terror raids released without charges

THREE of the five men arrested during pre-dawn terror raids in Melbourne at the weekend have been released without charge while the other two remain in police custody.

Police have alleged the pair were planning an imminent terror attack using knives and swords targeting police officers on Anzac Day.

The five men are all alleged associates of Numan Haider, 18, who was shot dead after attacking two police officers with a knife last September outside a Melbourne police station.

It is believed their planned attack was Islamic State inspired.

Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 18, appeared briefly in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with conspiring to commit terrorist acts.

Victoria Police were granted a Preventative Detention Order, under the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act, to hold the second man, 18 of Hampton Park, for an additional 14 days without charge.

It is understood he could face similar terrorism-related charges.

Police chiefs across the country were quick to reassure the community following the arrests with hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend Anzac Day Centenary services across the nation this weekend.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the arrests should not deter people for attending Anzac Day services planned across the nation.

He said Australians needed to stare down those who were hell bent on bringing terrorism to our shores.

"The best sign of defiance that we can give to those who would do us harm is to go about a normal, peaceful, free and fair Australian life," he said.

"I say to everyone who is thinking of going to an Anzac Day event ... please do not be deterred.

"Turn up in the largest possible numbers to support our country, to support our values and to support our armed forces."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten reiterated Mr Abbott's comments saying our security and police agencies are among the best in the world.

"I know Australians will not let these events disrupt the commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the first ANZAC landing in Gallipoli," he said.

"We should be reassured by the skill and professionalism of our security agencies and their ability to tackle the threat of terrorism to keep Australians safe."

- APN NEWSDESK.


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