Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014 and authorities said they have thwarted 16 major plots since.
Two of the arrested men, aged 20 and 23, have been charged with being members of Islamic State, a crime under Australian law. The younger man has been accused of plotting a Sydney attack, which police said was in the early stages of planning.
“The man indicated a range of potential targets. These include the following: police stations, defense establishments, embassies and consulates, courts and churches,” Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner, Ian McCartney, told reporters in Sydney.
A third man, aged 30, has been charged with welfare fraud. All three men are due to appear in court either later today or Wednesday (July 3).
(Production: Cordelia Hsu, Jill Gralow)