Australia raises terrorism threat alert level to high
CANBERRA, Australia (AP):
The Australian government today raised 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 said the threat had been rising over the past year, particularly in recent months, mainly due to Australians joining the Islamic State movement 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.
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