From The Australian National News: “AUSTRALIANS can expect greater security at airports, large public events, government buildings and ports as the government has raised the public alert of a terror threat to ‘high’ for the first time in history.
“Our security agencies have raised the alert level based on an accumulation of indicators,” Prime Minister Abbott said in a press conference today.
Speaking alongside ASIO boss David Irvine and Attorney General George Brandis as well as representatives from the AFP, Mr Abbott said the decision was based on a number of factors including the number of Australians fighting in the Middle East and those who have returned home. It also takes into account those in Australia supporting terrorists and exaltations coming from IS to join the cause or launch an attack on home soil.
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“We do know that people coming back from the Middle East militarised and brutalised … do pose a threat to our community” Mr Abbott said.
“What I want to assure people is that we have very capable police, very capable security agencies. I am confident our agencies are smarter than terrorists and would-be terrorists and will remain one step ahead of them.”
The change means a terrorist attack is now considered “likely”.
However the Prime Minister stressed there is no specific threat imminent and said the move is nothing to do with religion. “We have no specific intelligence of particular plots,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
“What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks.”
“Nothing that I have said today … has anything to with religion. This is about crime, potential crime and combating crime.”
Labor leader Bill Shorten said he supports the move saying “when it comes to fighting terrorism, we are in this together”.
“Labor will continue to support the government in its most important responsibility; ensuring the safety of the Australian people,” he said.
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