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Natty
12-24-2001, 11:20 AM
Australia warned of terrorism threat
By ANDREW PROBYN
25dec01

AUSTRALIA is on its highest security alert after being told by allies it is a possible terrorist target over Christmas.

The CIA and Britain's MI5 contacted ASIO on Sunday evening after receiving credible evidence of an imminent attack.
The danger was real, although Australia was not at the same level of risk as the United States.

Airports have stepped up passenger checks considerably, with passengers experiencing long delays, especially on UK or US-bound flights.

Attorney-General Daryl Williams confirmed yesterday the Federal Government had received warnings of an attack.

"Anybody who's contemplating a terrorist act needs to understand the authorities are aware of the potential threat and will track them down," Mr Williams said.

International passengers face up to four security checks. British Airways and United Airlines are hand-searching all luggage.

Security at prime terrorist targets such as the US spy base at Pine Gap, the US embassy, the British High Commission, the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race and Melbourne's Rialto building has also been increased.

The Federal Government reinstated the amber alert, not used since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, about 9pm on Sunday.

Short of an invasion or direct attack on Australian soil, "weathercock amber alert" is the highest state of military readiness.

The increased security alert comes after a Sri Lankan man was caught trying to ignite explosives stuffed in his shoes on a trans-Atlantic American Airlines flight on Sunday.

Mr Williams said the targets of threat in Australia were not known but US and British interests were candidates.

"At present, there is no indication that Australia is at the same level of risk as the United States," he said. "At this time the information is unsubstantiated . . . it is not specific to any particular type of threat and it is not specific to any particular location."

Mr Williams called on Australians to be vigilant and report suspicious behaviour.

There has been concern among Australia's allies that supporters of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist regime would try to strike during Christmas in a symbolic act.

"I would assume that people engaging in terrorist activity would want to strike when it's least expected," Mr Williams said.

TheLegend
12-24-2001, 11:54 AM
*sigh* indeed:mad:

DeadEyeDave
12-24-2001, 01:05 PM
Can't they ever stop! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Natty
12-24-2001, 10:14 PM
I'm still alive :p For now anyway :(