Australian police have arrested four “Islamic-inspired” men for allegedly conspiring to bomb a plane. The suspects were apprehended during a series of raids late Saturday.
“In recent days, law enforcement has become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an improvised device,” stated Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin. “We do believe it is Islamic-inspired terrorism.”
Exactly what is behind this is something that we will need to investigate fully [however] we’re investigating information indicating the aviation industry was potentially a target of that attack.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attempted to reassure the public Sunday that authorities are doing everything they can to keep Australia safe.
“I can report last night that there has been a major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane,” he said. “The operation is continuing.”
According to NPR, “The plot is reportedly more sophisticated than the lone wolf attacks that have struck Australia before.”
While security officials have directed most of their energy toward stopping so-called lone wolf actors, the unraveling of this latest terror plot reveals that the threat of jihadists conspiring to carry out sophisticated, 9/11-style operations still looms large.
In fact, the scale and scope of this latest plot has led authorities to believe that the jihadists are not only related, but may have had some sort of direction from overseas handlers.