Two homes in Sydney, Australia, were raided by police Wednesday after authorities received a suspected “shooting threat” against a police station, the New South Wales police said. Authorities confirmed that “no items of interest” were found during the search of the homes in the western Sydney suburb of Merrylands.
The raids were led by the Middle Eastern Organized Crime Squad, and also involved Tactical Operations Unit officers, along with local police and other specialist units. Authorities said that the extensive searches were conducted under the firearms legislation.
"Any threat to police officers or police premises is of major concern and taken extremely seriously, as demonstrated by the operation we undertook today,” Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins said, in a statement. “We will continue to take every precaution necessary to protect our officers and the safety of the wider community, and will respond swiftly to any specific threats that are received.”
One of the houses raided Wednesday reportedly belonged to the family of Talal Alameddine, who was detained in October over the fatal shooting of a civilian member of Sydney police.
Alameddine, who has been charged with supplying the gun that 15-year-old Iranian Farhad Jabar used to shoot Curtis Cheng, remains in police custody ahead of a court appearance next week.
“This matter remains under investigation,” Jenkins said, in the statement about the latest threat to a police station, adding: “I would encourage any person who has information about threats to police or to community safety in general to come forward and tell us so we can act on it.”
Cheng was shot outside the New South Wales state police headquarters on Charles Street in the business district of Parramatta on Oct. 2 in what police said was a terror-linked incident.
Australia has stepped up counterterrorism efforts in recent months over a string of homegrown terrorism crimes from radical Islamists.