This morning, Australian authorities are trying to determine just which targets a suspected group of terrorists had in mind for what may have been the Down Under version of 9/ll.
In raids conducted in Sydney and Melbourne, police say they found a large quantity of chemicals that could be used to make explosives. Seventeen people were arrested under the country's new anti-terrorism laws. One suspect was reported to have been shot when police moved in.
"We've disrupted a large-scale operation," said Ken Moroney, New South Wales Police commissioner. "Had it been allowed to go through to fruition, we certainly believe would have been catastrophic."
The arrests come just two months after a masked al Qaeda member, believed to be an American named Adam Gadahn, had threatened attacks in the U.S. and Australia.
"Yesterday, London and Madrid," Gadahn said. "Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing. And this time, don't count on us demonstrating constraint or compassion."
Australian authorities say they had been investigating the group for some 16 months and interrupted the suspected terrorists before they could settle on specific targets.
"We certainly had a range of material seized and grave concerns about the way that these people have been behaving," said Christine Nixon, Victoria Police commissioner.