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Tags: Australia | terror threat | Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Warns Australians: 'Terror Threat Remains High'

Prime Minister Warns Australians: 'Terror Threat Remains High'
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot. (Lukas Coch/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:55 AM EST

Australia is bracing itself for another terrorist attack after intelligence officials this week warned of increased "chatter" among jihadists emboldened by the siege of a Sydney cafe, as Western governments remain on high alert for terrorist activity.

"The national security agencies today indicated that there has been a heightened level of terrorist chatter in the aftermath of the Martin Place siege," Prime Minister Tony Abbott
told reporters Tuesday, according to NBC News.

He was referring to the street in Sydney’s central business district where a Muslim militant captured 17 hostages on Dec. 15. Man Haron Monis, an Iranian immigrant with a long criminal record, held police at bay for 16 hours at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe until police stormed the restaurant early on Dec. 16 and killed him.

Abbott’s warning follows a U.S. travel alert, cautioning Americans about the increased dangers after the siege in Sydney inspired by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Just days before the Sydney attack, the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee cited "radical Islam" as posing the greatest threat to the United States in a decade.

Meanwhile, Europe continues to hunt down home-grown Islamic State militants returning from the Middle East as trained terrorists capable of lone-wolf attacks across the continent.

Abbott briefed reporters on a meeting he held earlier Tuesday with his National Security Committee, which warned him of intercepted messages from what he called "terrorist sympathizers."

"We don't know when and how an attack may come, but we do know there are people with the intent and the capability to carry out further attacks," Abbott said.

"I am alerting people to the fact that the terror threat remains high and as you all understand, at this level, an attack is likely.

"That's why it's important that people remain alert and aware, as well as reassured that our police and security agencies are doing everything they humanly can to keep us safe."

In Sydney Tuesday, mourners held memorial services for Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old cafe manager, and Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old lawyer, who died in the siege.

Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a "Worldwide Travel Alert," urging Americans abroad to avoid soft targets such as the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney.

"An analysis of past attacks and threat reporting strongly suggests a focus by terrorists not only on the targeting of U.S. government facilities but also on hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools, among other targets, during or coinciding with this holiday period," the State Department said Friday.

"U.S. citizens abroad should be mindful that terrorist groups and those inspired by them can pose unpredictable threats in public venues. U.S. citizens should remain alert to local conditions and for signs of danger."

Three days before the Sydney attack, Rep. Mike Rogers warned reporters in Washington that the terrorist threat against the United States is the highest he has seen in 10 years on the intelligence committee.

"The threat matrix I have never seen as bad as I see it today," the Michigan Republican said at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.

"You have more streams of individuals who are associated with radical Islam who are saying they have either an aspiration or a capability to do attacks in the West, meaning Europe or the United States," added Rogers, who is stepping down as committee chairman in January.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Australia is bracing itself for another terrorist attack after intelligence officials this week warned of increased “chatter” among jihadists emboldened by the siege of a Sydney cafe, as Western governments remain on high alert for terrorist activity.
Australia, terror threat, Tony Abbott
565
2014-55-23
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:55 AM
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