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Armed PSOs To Be Deployed At Areas With Large Crowds

The Andrews Government is set to deploy armed Protective Services Officers at all areas and events with large crowds throughout Victoria in a bid to stop terrorist attacks.

Around 1319 PSOs are already patrolling train stations throughout Victoria and now they will also be stationed at places like shopping malls, supermarkets and festivals to help protect places with large numbers of people.

This decision comes after police arrested a man for allegedly plotting a New Year's Eve Terror attack in Federation square.

Ali Khalif, the 20-year-old accused man known as Ali Shire to his friends, faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with preparing to commit a terrorist attack and collecting documents to facilitate a terrorist act.

Victoria Police, AFP and ASIO had been tracking the man's movements over the past year and say that he planned to shoot and kill "as many people as he could" during the NYE attack.

"This is a person who expressed an intention to try and kill as many people as he could through shooting them in Federation Square area on New Year's Eve," said Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton.

"It is a tremendous concern to us that (during) the festive season, when people are out enjoying themselves, there is a potential plot to commit a terrorist act."

Police believe that Mr Shire attempted to purchase an automatic rifle but was never able to get his hands on one.

They also allege that he obtained documents on how to carry out a terrorist attack.

Mr Shire will face court again on March 13.

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