Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that police in Australia have foiled an attempted attack to bring down an airplane.
Mr. Turnbull said, “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.”
He told this at a joint press conference with Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police Andrew Colvin, the New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
They were talking after police arrested four people and the investigators said the materials they have seized could have been used to make explosive devices. Prime Minister Turnbull said, “the tight cooperation and collaboration between our intelligence and security agencies is the key to keeping Australians safe from terrorism.”
Reiterating his commitment to ensure safety for the citizens, Mr. Turnbull said, “The number one priority of my Government and my commitment to the Australian people, is to keep them safe. Every day, every hour, we are focused on ensuring that our defences against terrorism are stronger than ever. That our cooperation is tighter than ever. That our coordination is swifter than ever before.”
Justice Minister Mr. Keenan said, “This is the 13th significant disruption that we’ve had because of the ability of our agencies to do this job and it again reinforces the excellence of our agencies and the wherewithal they have to keep Australian people safe…. since 2014, 70 people have been charged as a result of 31 counter-terrorism operations around the country.”
Urging fellow Australians to inform police if something doesn’t seem right, Mr. Michael Keenan said, “If there’s something you see that seems suspicious, if there is something that doesn’t seem right, then call the national security hotline.”
“We do believe it’s Islamic inspired terrorism. Exactly what is behind this is something that we will need to investigate fully,” said commissioner Colvin.
Australian Federal Police commissioner Mr. Andrew Colvin said, “We have taken this threat seriously. In that itself, you should infer we think this was credible and that there was an intention and quite possibly a capability as well.”
When a journalist asked New South Wales Police Commissioner if there is a link to the Redfern mosque with this terrorist plot, commissioner Mick Fuller said, “I promise you we will leave no stone unturned, in terms of working it out.”
Federal Police commissioner Mr. Andrew Colvin said that he believe that the foiled plot was Islamist-inspired. “We do believe it’s Islamic inspired terrorism. Exactly what is behind this is something that we will need to investigate fully,” said commissioner Colvin.