Earlier this week Britain adjusted their terror alert level to ‘severe’ and Australians are anticipating that we too might see the same happening locally.
Attorney General George Brandis said that the UK’s decision to increase their terror alert to ‘severe’ is based on recommendations by British intelligence agencies. He added that this highlighted the threat of foreign fighters returning to Australia.
Citing reason for the upgrade of British alertness to ‘severe’, the intelligence agencies indicated that an attack on was “highly likely’’ although they stressed there was no intelligence to suggest an attack was imminent.
It is believed that as many as 60 Australians are embroiled in the Iraqi battles while the government suspects that more than 100 Australian citizens have been involved in the recruitment of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Australia.
“It is of serious concern that Australian citizens are active in these groups,’’ Senator Brandis said.
“The Government’s assessment is that approximately 60 Australians are engaged in fighting in Syria and Iraq, with an additional 100 involved in active facilitation and support.
“We remain in close contact with the United Kingdom and other partners about the threat from terrorist groups active in Syria and Iraq and from returning foreign fighters.
“As the Director-General of Security and I have said before, events in Syria and Iraq, and the large number of Australians participating in the conflict means Australia is facing its highest threat for some time.
Currently, Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert System remains at ‘Medium’, signalling that Australian decision makers believe a terrorist attack could occur.
“This level is under constant review by the Australian Government and is based on advice from security and intelligence agencies,’’ Senator Brandis said.
“Australia’s threat level would be increased to ‘High’ if it were deemed that a terrorist attack is likely to occur.
“The Government is taking all necessary steps to keep Australia and Australian interests safe.”
UPDATE, 12 September 2014: Australia’s terror alert has been officially raised to ‘high’.