Authorities warned on Wednesday, September 20, that a major terrorist attack in Australia is now “inevitable,” considering the high number of attacks prevented in the country over the past few years. The last foiled attack dates back to July 2017, when police disrupted a plot to bring down an airplane by arresting four men during raids in the suburbs of Sydney. Counter-terrorism authorities say that “anything can happen at any time.”
The government introduced a national strategy to prevent vehicle attacks in crowded public places, following similar deadly assaults in Europe (July 2016 in France; August 2017 in Spain). On January 20, 2017, six people were killed and 30 others injured after a vehicle struck pedestrians in Melbourne's Bourke Street.
The current national terrorism threat level remains at “probable,” the third-highest on a five-level scale, which means that credible intelligence indicates that individuals or groups have the intent and the capability to conduct terrorist attacks in Australia.
Individuals in Australia are advised to exercise vigilance and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the local authorities, particularly when in crowded places. Be prepared for heightened security measures: cooperate with authorities, always carry appropriate identification, and anticipate possible delays at travel hubs.