Australian law enforcement agencies conducted raids throughout Sydney in an effort to disrupt an "Islamic-inspired" plot to bring down an airplane using an improvised explosive device. Four men were arrested and "a considerable amount of material" was seized in the raids, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced.
The number one priority of my Government, and my commitment to the Australian people, is to keep them safe. pic.twitter.com/xrNqvAKlJi— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) July 30, 2017
Turnbull added that the counterterrorism operation is still occurring. While authorities know the plot was aimed at bringing down an airplane, they are still investigating particulars. The terror threat level has been elevated to "probable" and increased security measures have been implemented for both domestic and international flights in Australia.
Darren Chester, minister for infrastructure and transport, said in a statement:
"Some of these measures will be obvious to the traveling public, others will not. The increased measures will include additional checks of cabin and checked baggage. While it is important the public is aware of the increased threat, Australians should not be alarmed and those traveling should go about their business with confidence."
The US Department of Homeland Security is keeping tabs on the investigation, it said Sunday.
"The Department of Homeland Security remains focused on the persistent and emerging threats to aviation, and we have taken extraordinary steps in recent weeks to raise the baseline of aviation security worldwide, especially to protect flights bound for the United States," the statement said. "We will continue to work with authorities in Australia and elsewhere to confront these threats.”
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said they believe the attack was inspired by the Islamic State.