Australian PM confirms counter-terrorism op foiled plot to bring plane down
Four people have been arrested in late night raids by Australia's counter-terrorism task force over an alleged plot to blow up a passenger plane, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed.
"The public should be reassured that our security and intelligence agencies are working tirelessly to keep us safe," Turnbull said in a statement as cited by Reuters.
Australia’s Joint Counter Terrorism Team believes the plot involved an improvised explosive device, reports ABC News.
The four suspects were among the targets in "an ongoing investigation."
"Four men have been taken into custody and are assisting police with their enquiries," the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.
Security at Sydney airport was stepped up Thursday in anticipation of a potential attack, with similar measures implemented at airports across the country.
Australia's terrorism threat remains at the same “probable” level as it was prior to the raids.
Turnbull advised travellers to expect delays due to increased airport security but said there was no imminent danger.
"Some of the measures will be obvious to the public, some will not be — those travelling should go about their business with confidence," Turnbull said, as cited by Reuters.
"The office of transport security has advised security screening will take longer, and travellers should arrive at terminals at least two hours before flights to allow ample time for screening.
"They should limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage, as this will help to ensure that security screening is efficient."
Last week, Turnbull released an online video statement in which he announced major reforms of Australia’s counter terrorism agencies.