Travel Alert – Australia – Terror Alert…

Drum Cusac has issued this latest warning for U.S. Citizens and others traveling in Australia.  This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…

Canberra Raises Terror Alert Level over Threat Posed by Islamic State -Affiliated Militants

Severity: 2 (Low)

Category: Conflict

Source: Drum Cussac

09/12/2014 (Australia) – On Friday, 12 September, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the country’s terror threat level was raised to high, the second-highest warning, amidst mounting concerns over the domestic threat posed by supporters of the Middle East-based Islamic State (IS) militant outfit as well as fighters returning from the Iraqi and Syrian conflicts. Abbott stressed, however, that the raised alert level did not signify that they had intelligence reports that an attack was imminent.

This is first time that Australia has raised the terror threat level above medium since it introduced a four-tier alert system in 2003. Prime Minister Abbott indicated that they had intelligence that IS supporters had the capability and intent to stage attacks in Australia. Note that a high alert level signifies that authorities believe that a terrorist attack is likely. According to intelligence agencies, at least 60 Australian nationals have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside IS as well as the al-Qaeda-affiliate, the al-Nursa Front, with reports that some 20 militants have since returned home. It is believed that at least two Australians have carried out suicide bombings in the aforementioned conflict zones. Australia is the third country to raise the terror threat level linked to the rise of IS in Syria and Iraq, after the United Kingdom and Spain did so on 29 August and 10 September, respectively.

Those in Australia should anticipate heightened security measures at airports, public transportation terminals, seaports, government buildings and strategic infrastructure, as well as at major public events and gatherings. Allow for additional time to clear security checkpoints. Clients should also closely monitor the situation and pay special attention to any statement released by the authorities concerning the threat posed by terrorist activities. Remain vigilant in public spaces and immediately report suspicious behaviour, vehicles and packages to relevant authorities. The government has set up a hotline (1800 123 400) to report any suspicious activities.

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