Lengthy delays at Australian airports after 'Islamic-inspired terrorism' plots

Marcus Newton
August 1, 2017

But he added that he remained confident that security protocols at Australia's airports would have prevented the terror plot's success.

Four men were arrested in raids across the city on Saturday.

Local media reported that police had seized a meat mincer, but this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Four men were arrested in counterterrorism raids on homes in the Sydney suburbs of Surry Hills, Punchbowl, Wiley Park and Lakemba on Saturday after authorities discovered plans for an attack to "bring down" an aircraft, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a televised press conference on Sunday.

"We've taken this threat very seriously", AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin said.

The four individuals in custody have not been charged and Mr Colvin said police would request a magistrate extend their holding period, noting terrorism laws allow police to hold the men for up to week.

Airlines and airports are urging travellers to limit their baggage and arrive earlier for domestic and global flights, as tougher security measures prompt concerns of travel delays across the country.

They are gathering evidence, including from five houses in Sydney, in a process that could last for days.

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Counter-terrorism police have conducted several recent raids, heightening tensions in a country that has had very few domestic attacks.

Mr Colvin urged the public to be patient because police did not yet "have all the pieces of the puzzle to put together".

The 2014 Lindt cafe siege in Sydney, in which the hostage-taker and two people were killed, was Australia's most deadly violence inspired by the so-called Islamic State.

Australia raised its terrorism threat level to "probable" in 2014 in response to threats posed by ISIS.

What is the impact on travel?

While commuters at Sydney Airport and Adelaide Airport faced a chaotic scene of long queues as a result of the additional screening methods, Brisbane Airport was largely spared from delays or extra waiting times.

Keenan said while he can't go into specific details about the investigation, Australia's security agencies were constantly working to ensure public safety.

Passengers on domestic flights should arrive at airports at least two hours before departure because of extra screening, he said, and those on global flights should arrive at least three hours before takeoff.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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