"There was a view towards a crowded place, a place where maximum people would be attending to be able to kill, we allege, kill a maximum amount of people as possible … Certainly, inspired by ISIS [Daesh], we know that and recently over about the last week we've become a lot more energised," Ashton told reporters.
The individuals were Australian nationals of Turkish background, aged 21, 26 and 30, respectively, Ashton added.
Earlier in November, a man attacked a group of people with a knife after a car burst into flames in Melbourne. The police said that the attacker had been arrested, adding that at least one person had died of the wounds inflicted and two people had been hospitalised. The police later said that they were treating the attack as a terrorist incident.
*Daesh, also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State is a terrorist organisation, banned in Russia.