Australia elevates terrorism threat level
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Australia elevates terrorism threat level

Canberra concerned over rising numbers of citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria, Iraq

Undated photo of Islamic State fighters near the border between Syria and Iraq (screen capture: YouTube/Vice)
Undated photo of Islamic State fighters near the border between Syria and Iraq (screen capture: YouTube/Vice)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government on Friday elevated its terrorism threat level to the second-highest warning in response to the domestic threat posed by Islamic State movement supporters.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the increase from “medium” to “high” on a four-tier scale on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization.

The domestic spy agency’s Director General David Irvine warned this week that the terrorist threat level had been rising in Australia over the past year, due in part to Australians joining Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq.

“I want to stress that this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent,” Abbott told reporters. “We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.”

“What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks.”

It is the first time that the threat level has been elevated above medium since the scale was introduced in 2003.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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