The results of 16 months of investigation brought forth the arrest of 17 terrorism suspects in Sydney and Melbourne early on Tuesday morning, according to this Washington Post article. This comes on the heels of major legislation put forward by Prime Minister John Howard to give the government more power in taking down terrorist organizations in the country [see DEL post here]
The attorney for 8 of the suspects "said one of those arrested in Melbourne was the outspoken radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakr, an Algerian-Australian who in the past has called Osama bin Laden a 'great man.'" The article goes on to describe the new legislation that made the arrests possible:
"Also last week, the Australian Parliament approved an amendment to the country's existing anti-terrorism laws that allows police to arrest people involved in the early stages of planning an unspecified terror attack. Nixon said some of the arrests Tuesday were made possible by the new legislation."
The Australian Courier-Mail reports that computers seized in the raids may be useful in tracking links to this terrorist cell to other cells in foreign countries, though none were directly named.
It appears in initial reports the planned attack was bomb or chemical related, though a location of the attacks has not been identified. The Global War on Terrorism continues, and this is a clear victory for the Australians and the Western world.