Almost 400 officers were involved in the raids, from the Victorian and Federal Police, and the national spy agency ASIO.
Police said they accused were self-radicalised but inspired by Islamic State.
Officers had been monitoring them for months – two weeks ago that escalated into a full blown investigation, after the men were spotted scoping out the targets.
Police said they have “neutralised” the terror threat and reassured people to go about their usual business over Christmas. Picture: Getty
A 20-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man, both from Meadow Heights, were also arrested but released without charge.
All of the men were were Australia nationals, four were born in the country and other was born in Egypt.
“They are being questioned in relation to allegations that they have been involved in acts in preparation of a terrorist event,” chief commissioner Ashton said.
The accused were “self-radicalised” and inspired by Islamic State and the extremist terror group’s propaganda.
“Certainly [there was] potential for quite a number of people to be injured or killed in this attack,” Ashton said.
Police said they have “neutralised” the terror threat and reassured people to go about their usual business over the holiday season.
Turnbull thanked the agencies involved in the operation for their work in “thwarting” the terrorist activity.
The Prime Minister condemned the plot, and said Australians should not be cowed and highlighted Australia’s “successful” multicultural society.
“We congregate in public places for Christmas, for New Year’s Eve. It is a time of happiness and joy. These terrorists sought to disrupt it. They have been thwarted,” he told reporters in Sydney.
Commissioner Ashton said police have “neutralised that threat” and there was nothing evidence to suggest future threats to Christmas events across Melbourne.
“We know there’s lot of events on over the next several days right across our state including the Boxing Day test, Christmas carols, other events that are on,” he said.
“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any threat whatsoever in relation to any of those events.
“However we’re just making sure we’re taking those extra precautions given what we’ve been dealing with over the last couple of weeks.”
Premier Daniel Andrews, who labelled the plots as “an act of evil”, ensured people should go about they business at this special time of the year.
“All Victorians should know and understand there will be an increased police presence at large gatherings, right across the city and state, over this weekend,” he said.
Life goes on in Melbourne
At least half a dozen additional police officers were stationed at Federation Square on Friday to reassure the public.
Across the road at St Paul’s Cathedral, parishioners attended the 12.15pm Friday Anglican service as usual.
The Dean of St Paul’s, Dr Andreas Loewe, says Christmas services will be held as scheduled with extra security.
Cricket Australia said it was working closely with Victoria Police and Federal Security to beef up security at the Boxing Day Test.
“Our security team is in contact with the relevant authorities to ensure we have the appropriate level of security at the Boxing Day Test and other cricket matches being held around the country,” chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement.
“The safety and security of our fans, players and officials attending any cricket match is our number one priority,” he said.
Courtesy of yahoo channel 7