Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday that the people of his country face the “most serious” national security predicament in Australia’s history.
Abbottt said to reporters in Sydney, “The challenges that we face are more serious today than at any times in the past. It is a serious situation when all you need to do is carry out a terrorist attack is to have a knife, an iPhone and a victim.”
PM Abbott’s remarks came one day following a massive counter-terror operation, when Australian police forces said they thwarted an Islamic State jihadi terror plot that included the planned beheadings of civilians.
The Australian Prime Minister said that the suspected terrorists had the “intent” to carry out the attacks, and the mission was based on “not just the suspicion.”
“The exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country,” said PM Abbot. “That’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.”
Australian Federal Police Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the press on Friday that additional individuals have been arrested and detained. “There are certain things that we can’t talk about for operational reasons, a number of people are still being detained, but I’m not in a position where I can confirm under what legislation or provisions they’re being detained,” said the police commissioner.
On Thursday, over eight-hundred officers from various counter-terror units simultaneously raided multiple jurisdictions through Sydney. Police officials detained at least fifteen individuals believed to be part of the Islamic State-sponsored plot.