Sydney Terror Raids

Sydney Terror Raids

By Jay-Anna Mobbs

 

Four men remain in custody after a plot to bring down a plane using a homemade explosive in an act of terror in Sydney over the weekend.

Following raids over the weekend in Surry Hills, Lakemba, Punchbowl, and Wiley Park, police have taken into custody two fathers and two sons who were allegedly planning to detonate a bomb on a flight destined for the Middle East.

The improvised explosive device was found concealed in  a meat grinder.

A piece of paper found inside a garbage bin at the Lakemba home, led to the four other residencies being targeted, which included a flight code for a route from Jakarta to Sydney, and is reported to be the targeted flight.

The plot was said to be “Islamist-inspired”.

As a result, airport security has been increased, in order to apprehend any further terrorist plans.

Travelers at Sydney and Melbourne airports were told to arrive two hours early for domestic flights, and three hours early for international travel due to expected delays.

Attempts have been made to ensure the safety of travelers, such as longer scanning periods to limit the possibility of explosives allowed on board a flight.

NSW Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, said it was important to take action early on.

“With terrorism you can’t wait, you can’t wait to put the whole puzzle together, you do have to go early because if you get it wrong the consequences are severe,” he said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the measures were done to ensure the safety of the public.

“The tight co-operation and collaboration between our intelligence and security agencies is the key to keeping Australians safe from terrorism,” he said.

Despite the heightened measures, Chief Executive of Homeland Security Asia/Pacific Roger Henning, said there are other ways to bring down a plane, and scanning will not be enough to ensure explosives are identified.

“There are other ways of blowing up aeroplanes and they’re certainly not covered by anything the Australian Government or agencies have done to date. There is no scanner that can pick up plastic explosives,” he said.

Bill Shorten however, has contributed his two cents, by suggesting domestic passengers at Australian airports should be made to show ID as part of increased security measures.

“It seems to me at first blush to be a bit sensible that you know who’s actually getting on the plane”, he told Radio National on Monday.

In the meantime however, the suspected terrorists are being held at the Surry Hills police station under special terrorism powers.

They could be in custody for days, as police gather the evidence for any potential case.

 

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