The Islamic State has urged its followers around the world to carry out terrorist attacks on Christmas. We won’t know until Monday whether any such attacks are successfully carried out, but some have already been stopped, including a major plot in Australia:
Police in Australia have detained five men suspected of planning a series of Christmas Day attacks using explosives, knives and a gun in the heart of the country’s second-largest city, officials said Friday.
The suspects were inspired by the Islamic State group and planned attacks on Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street train station, neighboring Federation Square, a fashionable bar and restaurant precinct, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, an Anglican church, Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.
These sites are all familiar to me, having spent two weeks in Melbourne visiting one of my daughters earlier this year.
Four of the suspects were born in Australia and the fifth was Egyptian-born with Egyptian and Australian citizenship.
So it’s another case of home-grown, IS-inspired terrorism. The West is paying a heavy price for allowing the Islamic State to survive for so long.
In Australia, as elsewhere around the world, incidents of Islamic terrorism are piling up:
Since Australia’s terrorist threat level was elevated in September 2014, the government says there have been four extremist attacks and 12 plots foiled by police.
This in a country of only 23 million.
Let’s pray that any other attacks planned for Christmas Day are likewise frustrated by the authorities.