Sydney: Australia has foiled an Islamist-inspired terrorist plot to bring down an aircraft with an improvised explosive device, authorities said on Sunday, after four people were arrested in raids across Sydney.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the plot appeared to be “elaborate” rather than planned by a lone wolf, as security was strengthened at major domestic and international airports across the nation.
“I can report last night that there has been a major joint counter-terrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane,” Mr Turnbull told reporters. “The threat of terrorism is very real. The disruption operation, the efforts overnight have been very effective but there’s more work to do.”
Officials did not specify if the alleged plot involved a domestic or international flight, but Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that a local route had been the objective.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin described the plot as “Islamic-inspired” and said four men had been arrested in a series of raids across Sydney on Saturday. “We do believe it is Islamic-inspired terrorism. Exactly what is behind this is something we need to investigate fully.”
He said local authorities had received “credible information from partner agencies” about the claims but would not elaborate further or say if the men had been on any watch list.