A plot to bring down a plane has been foiled by Australian authorities, it has emerged.
“Islamic-inspired” plans for a bomb attack on an aircraft were thwarted during counter-terrorism raids in which four men were arrested on Saturday, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have confirmed, according to Reuters.
AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin said during a press conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday: “In recent days, law enforcement has become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist act using an improvised device.”
He added: “We do believe it is Islamic-inspired terrorism. Exactly what is behind this is something that we will need to investigate fully.
“At this time we don’t have a great deal of information on the specific attack, the location, date or time. However, we are investigating information indicating that the aviation industry was potentially a target ...”
HuffPost Australia reported police said they found “a number of items of great interest” during the raids, but remained tight lipped on further details related to seized materials.
An AFP spokesman told Reuters the men had not been charged as of Sunday morning.
Turnbull said advice from Australian security and intelligence agencies had led to increased security measures at Sydney airport on Thursday, while the country’s other domestic and international airports were affected from Saturday.
“Some of the measures will be obvious to the public, some will not be,” Turnbull said.
Colvin said travellers could expect an increased police and security agency presence at airports.
“You can expect longer delays to make sure that more screening is being done on baggage, both hold luggage as well as hand luggage,” adding that travellers should allow more time to get through security.