Four people have been arrested in Australia over the murder of a police employee after raids by more than 200 security forces on properties across Sydney.
Those detained on Wednesday were boys and men, aged from 16 to 22, police said, adding that they were under investigation over the killing of Curtis Cheng outside New South Wales state police headquarters in western Sydney.
Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, 15, who had Iraqi and Kurdish parents and no previous criminal history, shot dead 58-year-old Cheng on Friday. The teenager was killed in an exchange of fire with police at the scene.
According to reports, the homes of three of the people detained on Wednesday had been raided a year ago in an anti-terror operation.
New South Wales Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said some of the detainees were known to police but did not explain their possible connection to Jabar.
“We suspect that a terrorism event has occurred and we suspect that they may have some knowledge,” Burn said.
Asked whether police believe that Jaber worked alone, she answered, “We definitely have our suspicion he did not act alone.”
Burn also said Jaber must have come under “some influence, whether it was ideologically, religious or politically motivated” that made him “commit this horrendous act of violence.”
Canberra is worried about the prospect of attacks by individuals inspired by terrorist groups such as Daesh.
Over 120 Australians have joined the ranks of the Daesh in the Middle East so far and more than 150 of the country’s nationals are currently supporting Takfiri terrorists financially, according to the Australian government.
Moreover, some 288 others have been prevented from leaving Australia over the past nine months, the Australian police say.
The Australian government has ratified a law criminalizing travel to Daesh strongholds, including those in Syria and Iraq. Individuals charged could face up to 10 years in prison.