ASIO has raised Australia’s terrorist threat level from medium to high.
“I regret to say there are people who would do us harm – and some of them are Australian citizens,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a press conference in Melbourne this afternoon.
Mr Abbott said the Federal government has “no specific intelligence” of a plot to launch a terrorist attack.
“What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks,” he said.
He added that Australians would notice more security at airports, government buildings and sporting events.
The move, which means a terrorist attack in Australia is likely — but stops short of the highest warning level of extreme, when an attack is “imminent” — comes after AFP counterterrorism officers yesterday conducted raids across Brisbane on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay told told Fairfax Radio earlier today the risk of a terrorist attack on home soil had reached a new high.
“There is no doubt that there are some concerns about what it happening in the Middle East, and some Australians who have been there and are coming back,” Mr Lay said.
He said he thought it was time to consider raising the threat level.
“I think it is probably an appropriate time to have a think about the (threat) level at the moment.”