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Transcript - 23817

National Terrorism Public Alert level raised to High

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/09/2014

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 23817

Based on advice from security and intelligence agencies, the Government has raised the National Terrorism Public Alert level from Medium to High.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) independently determines the threat level.

The advice is not based on knowledge of a specific attack plan but rather a body of evidence that points to the increased likelihood of a terrorist attack in Australia.

Security and intelligence agencies are concerned about the increasing number of Australians working with, connected to, or inspired by terrorist groups such as ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusrah, and al-Qaeda. The threat they pose has been increasing for more than a year.

The first priority of the Government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

Raising the alert level to High is designed to increase vigilance and raise awareness in the community.

While it is important the public are aware of the increased threat, Australians should continue to go about their lives.

Strong arrangements are in place to detect, prevent and respond to terrorism.

Earlier today, state and territory governments were notified of the decision to raise the threat level and federal and state law enforcement agencies will work to counter the terrorist threat.

Owners and operators of critical infrastructure and places of mass gathering are encouraged to review their security plans and update their contact details with their state or territory police counter-terrorism unit.

The Government is also taking strong action to equip our security agencies and border protection agencies with the resources and powers they need to detect terrorist activities at home and prevent radicalised foreign fighters from returning to Australia.

More than $630 million has been provided to boost the counter-terrorism capacity of the Australian Federal Police, ASIO, ASIS, Customs and Border Protection and other agencies.

We are also updating counter-terrorism legislation to strengthen agencies’ capability to prevent and disrupt domestic security threats.

The public can provide valuable information to assist security and law enforcement agencies identify potential threats and prevent them from developing.

Members of the public can report suspicious activities to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400, or directly to local police.

How long the threat level remains at High is a matter for our intelligence and security agencies, but the Government does not want to see it remain High for a day longer than necessary.

12 September 2014

Transcript - 23817