Australia: Terrorism squad arrests man for New Year's Eve terror plot targeting Sydney

The man was arrested at Sydney's international airport after he returned from London

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After Melbourne police foiled a significant ISIS-inspired terror plot on Christmas Day, counter-terrorism force in Sydney arrested a man on 29 December for allegedly making threats online targeting New Year's Eve festivities in the capital of New South Wales.

The accused identified as Damien O'Neil has been charged under criminal laws relating to suicide or encouraging suicide, not terrorism laws, and has been refused bail by a court, reported The Telegraph. Though police did not identify the man's nationality or any details about the threat, local media said that he is a resident of Sydney only.

New South Wales state acting deputy commissioner Frank Mennilli said that Damein was acting alone and does not have any allegiance to any cultural groups. "He did post on social media a number of threats of some possible activity that he could be undertaking," said the officer, according to the news website.

Also read: Australia thwarts Christmas Day terror attack on Melbourne cathedral and other landmarks

Sydney police got the tip-off from the public following which the accused was arrested at Sydney's international airport, right after his flight from London landed. A search operation of his house was also conducted and police retrieved some documents and hard drives.

Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn, according to Agence France-Presse, said: "Investigations into this matter so far indicate this was an isolated incident."

"As a consequence, we are confident that there are no current or specific threats to New Years Eve... people should enjoy the celebrations," he added.

Sydney, which is one of Australia's biggest cities, is preparing for the giant annual New Year's Eve fireworks party on the harbour. At least one million people are expected to attend the revelry.