Latest News

Young man admits Melbourne terror plans

Melbourne Federation Square

A young man has pleaded guilty to preparing for a New Year's Eve terrorist attack in central Melbourne.

During a Supreme Court of Victoria hearing on Wednesday, Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 22, pleaded guilty to one charge of preparing for a terrorist act, his lawyer Jarrod Williams confirmed.

Ali, an Australian citizen, was due to stand trial over the accusation that between March and April 2017 he prepared to commit a terrorist act at Federation Square on December 31 the same year.

He had previously pleaded not guilty in a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Ali had been subjected to a lengthy police investigation, with a phone tap in place from October 2016 until his arrest, the court was told at a committal hearing.

He was also subject to physical surveillance and his spending activity was tracked.

Ali has been in custody since November 2017, when police arrested him at a Werribee shopping strip.

It was alleged he attempted to buy a gun for the attack, was described as an "ISIL sympathiser" and allegedly accessed an al-Qaeda guidebook with information on how to commit a terrorist act and use firearms.

Police at the time said the human cost of the plot would have been "catastrophic ... horrendous".

© AAP 2019 Image: flickr