Saturday, September 20, 2014

After Sweep, Australia Adds Security at Parliament

SEPT. 19, 2014

HONG KONG — The Australian government intensified security at the national Parliament building on Friday, a day after the police detained 15 people in an operation that the prime minister said had been prompted by signs that militant Islamists were planning “demonstration executions.”

The security sweep involved some 800 police officers simultaneously raiding homes across western Sydney. By Friday, most of the people detained had been released without being charged. Two were charged: one with conspiring to prepare a terrorist attack, who was held in custody; the other on a weapons count, who was freed on bail.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and senior Australian police officials said that the investigation into suspected supporters of the Islamic State, a group promoting a vision of an unsparing caliphate at war with those it sees as unbelievers and heretics, was far from over and that serious risks remained of some kind of attack.

“There certainly has been chatter amongst the terrorist support networks of an attack on government and government people, and Parliament House has been specifically mentioned,” Mr. Abbott said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

(More here.)


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