On Monday, November 27, police reportedly arrested a suspected terrorist in Melbourne who was allegedly planning to attack New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city center next month. According to officials, the suspect had downloaded instructions from an Al-Qa’ida-affiliated website on how to carry out terrorist attacks and operate various types of firearms, and planned to obtain an automatic weapon and attack the New Year's Eve celebrations in Federation Square in Melbourne. Police reported that the suspect is believed to have been acting alone, and reassured the public that there is currently no specific, credible terrorist threat to public safety.
Security officials have foiled a number of terrorist plots and charged 74 people in counter-terrorism investigations since 2014. 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 and during the busy holiday season. Be prepared for heightened security measures: cooperate with authorities, always carry appropriate identification, and anticipate possible delays at travel hubs.