Australia boosts airport security after Sydney counter-terror raids

Canberra, July 30 (IANS) Australian authorities on Sunday boosted security measures at the country’s airports after four persons who were allegedly planning to attack an airplane were arrested in Sydney.

Transport Minister Darren Chester said security measures would be stepped up at the airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Gold Coast and Hobart, on advice from security and law enforcement agencies after the counter terrorism raid on Saturday night, reports Efe news.

“All Australian airports have been asked to exercise increased vigilance in their security operations, including at security screening points and within the terminal area,” Chester said in a statement.

“These additional measures complement the security arrangements already in place and are being applied as an extra precaution, in coordination with counter terrorism raids in Sydney last night.”

The Minister said the measures will include greater scrutiny of carry-on and checked baggage, and asked travellers to arrive two hours before flights to allow time for security screening.

“While it is important the public is aware of the increased threat, Australians should not be alarmed and those travelling should go about their business with confidence,” he added.

The new measures add to others already in place, including hardened cockpit doors to prevent unauthorised access to the cockpit, training for crew members to handle suspect passenger behaviour, and plainclothes in-flight security officers, according to the statement.

Australia raised its terror alert in September 2014 and has passed a series of anti-terrorist laws to prevent attacks on its territory.

–IANS

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