Australian police foil Christmas Day bomb plot

Australian police detained five suspects who had allegedly planned a series of bomb attacks to be carried out on Christmas Day in Melbourne.

According to ABC News, the suspects took inspiration from the Islamic State group. Attacks were allegedly planned on a train station, a mixed-use development center and a cathedral.

Seven people were initially arrested, but two of them — a 26-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman — were released without being charged.

Five men whose names have not been released are still in custody, authorities said.

Officials believe police raids executed Thursday night and Friday morning have neutralized the threat, although Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said extra police will be on the streets Christmas Day in order to make the public feel safe.

Police had been observing the suspects for some time and evidence gathered in the raids confirmed explosive devices were being assembled for attacks.

“Certainly (there was the) potential for quite a number of people to be injured or killed in this attack,” Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said.

Approximately 400 police officers were involved in the raids.