With half a million people likely to attend this year’s Melbourne Fireworks Displays for New Year’s Eve, the real planning to protect the public commenced months and months ago – probably immediately after last year’s successful event. Equally for those who would cause harm, their planning also commenced around the same time.
Read this article from the BBC on the man charged with planning an attack on the event this year, Mr Ali Ali.
Melbourne man planned New Year’s Eve terror attack, police say
Australian police have arrested a man they allege was planning to carry out a terror attack during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Melbourne.
Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, will be charged with terrorism offences that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, authorities said.
Police allege he had planned to shoot people with an automatic gun at Federation Square in the city’s centre.
There is no ongoing threat to the public, police said.
Last year, about 500,000 people celebrated New Year’s Eve in Melbourne’s city centre.
Authorities said Mr Ali was born in Australia to Somali parents and had been monitored by police as a “person of interest” since January.
They said he had not obtained an automatic weapon before his arrest in Werribee, a Melbourne suburb, on Monday.
“What we will be alleging is that he was intending to use a firearm to shoot and kill as many people as he could,” Victoria police deputy commissioner Shane Patton said on Tuesday.
“This is a person who would become particularly energised, for a lack of a better word, when overseas [terrorism] events occurred and would express a great deal of interest in committing an attack himself.”
No other suspects
Mr Ali had obtained an al-Qaeda manual online with instructions for staging a terrorist attack, and was a sympathiser of so-called Islamic State, according to police.
Mr Patton said he had connections with extremists but was believed to be acting alone. No further arrests were expected.
Search warrants were executed at Mr Ali’s home, a business where he had worked, and a relative’s property.
The arrest was not linked to previous operations, police said.
Last year, police said they had foiled a major terror attack planned for Christmas Day in Melbourne, with Federation Square also among its alleged targets.
Australian police have charged 74 people in counter-terrorism investigations since 2014, when the nation’s terror threat level was raised to “probable”.
Consider this. The organisations sponsoring such random attacks are not organised local Militia. In 90% of cases, the individuals ultimately involved are in fact mentally unbalanced. The approach taken by extremists such as the ISIS group is to appeal to such persons. The logic is simple. Those suffering from a mental affliction are unpredictable and quite often unaffected by the laws of society. They live in an alternative reality – their own delusions.
So in preparing for such an event, when planning it is imperative that Security Agencies look past the stuff that Intelligence Agencies focus on and deal with the real ‘what if’ contingencies of vehicular attack, weapons or explosives. The religion, political position or country of origin make little difference when security is breached. The real objective is to protect lives. To make secure the public areas and patrons attending.
The crowds on New Year’s Eve create huge no-go zones for vehicular traffic, that is unless of course the driver of a vehicle wishes to cause harm.
What such people look for is an easy breach, an entry that is not blocked or patrolled. Witness the carnage at Nice in France or even here in Melbourne. Quite simply, what is required are portable crash barriers – units able to be easily deployed and removed. Cost effective and capable of preventing any vehicle from entering a prohibited area for a designated period only.
The Meridian Crash Barriers supplied by AML Risk Management do just that. Patrons enjoying the Fireworks can be assured of their safety and their peace of mind. View the range of equipment available here
The Meridian Crash Barriers are rated to stop a fully laden vehicle travelling at up to 48km/h. The units can easily be deployed using one or two people.
For further information, please call 03 9326 2244 for a prompt response from a member of our trained and experienced team, or leave your details here
AML Risk Management – Preparation, Planning and Protection