Five young men between the ages of 16 and 24 were arrested on Wednesday in early morning raids in Sydney as a part of an investigation into last week’s murder of an accountant in a Sydney suburb, which New South Wales Police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn called a “terrorism event.”
Over 200 police officers raided four different houses in Australia’s largest antiterrorist raid this year, Reuters reports.
Curtis Cheng, a 58-year-old accountant who worked for the police in a civilian capacity, was shot and killed in the western suburb of Parramatta around 4:30 p.m. local time on Friday, in front of the New South Wales Police headquarters, shocking many in the neighborhood.
Shortly afterward, police shot and killed the 15-year-old gunman, Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, who was of Iraqi-Kurdish origins and born in Iran.
According to Reuters, experts worry that the Australian government’s renewed focus on fighting terror, and failure to foster social inclusion, has spurred extremist views among some local Muslim youth.
CNN reports that on Saturday, Commissioner Andrew Scipione of the New South Wales Police said that he hoped that the “Islamic community is not vilified and that we work together to address the problem of radicalization, particularly among the young.”