Australia Tightens Airport Security, Saying Police Foiled Bomb Plot

Australia Tightens Airport Security, Saying Police Foiled Bomb Plot”

Australian authorities have foiled an alleged Islamist-inspired "terrorist plot" to bring down an aeroplane with an improvised explosive and arrested four people in a series of anti-terror raids in Sydney.

"These operations are created to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in an emailed statement.

Australian Federal Police said the raids by the Joint Counter Terrorism Team in four suburbs in different parts of the city "relate to an ongoing investigation".

"Items of great interest to the police" were collected during arrests, but so far, it has not, for the moment, "much information relating to this attack, the place, the date or the hour", said the commissioner.

He said extra security was in place at domestic and worldwide airports.

"We believe it's Islamic-inspired terrorism. Exactly what is behind this is something we need to investigate fully", he said.

The attack was to target the Australian aviation industry at a major airport, police said.

In a statement, Turnbull said "We face a range of terrorist threats, some of them are lone actors, who activate very quickly, with very little warning".

"The threat of terrorism is very real", he said, while adding that "those traveling should go about their business with confidence".

Airline passengers have meanwhile been asked to arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours for global routes, and to limit their baggage. "However, it is also possible for individuals to conduct projects and attacks are more sophisticated", said on Sunday to journalists the minister of Justice Michael Keenan.

"Some of the measures will be obvious to the public, some will not be", Turnbull said.

"That our co-operation is tighter than ever".

Deakin University security expert Greg Barton said the first plot to target aircraft in Australia, which is the highest aspiration of many extremists, was a "pretty big threshold moment". Colvin said there was no evidence that security at Australian airports had been compromised.

NSW joint counter-terrorism team chose to raid last evening following which four men were in custody.

The new measures add to others already in place, including hardened cockpit doors to prevent unauthorised access to the cockpit, training for crew members to handle suspect passenger behaviour, and plainclothes in-flight security officers, according to the statement.

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