Australia's spy agency downgrades aviation threat after bomb plot arrests


The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation raised the threat level to aviation to "probable" as a result of the plot, Turnbull told reporters in the city of Perth on Thursday.

According to a statement from the Australian Federal Police, a 49-year-old man and a 32-year-old man were each charged with two counts of "acts done in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act".

The men can be held for seven days without charge after a magistrate on Sunday granted police special powers.

Unidentified officials told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the suspects - reportedly Lebanese-Australian - might have links to the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

Mr Dutton advised passengers to arrive at airports three hours before global flights and two hours for domestic flights in order to clear the heightened security.

"There's a lot of stress associated there, and not knowing, and he was shocked that he was being questioned", Kheir said.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave a press conference this afternoon giving the latest updates on the investigation into the alleged terror plot, which led to the arrest of four men, one of whom has since been released.

Four men have been taken into custody after raids across Sydney.

Mr Kheir said he would review the actions of police.

The Australian Government has introduced additional aviation security measures at global and domestic terminals at Australia's major airports.

"Terrorism is very different to other crimes; you can not wait until you have the flawless brief, you can not wait until you have all the pieces of the puzzle because you can not afford to let the criminal act happen", he said. He said the alleged plot was foiled but Australians should remain vigilant about the threat of an attack.

It's been revealed Aussie authorities were tipped off by foreign spies involved in Australia's Five Eyes partners, that includes the US, UK, New Zealand and Canada.

While there will be fewer flight delays, Mr Turnbull said it didn't mean people should become complacent.

A major concern for the counter-terrorism authorities is that they only found out about it well after plans had been hatched to blow up the aircraft.

"The Etihad Airways aviation security team is assisting the Australian Federal Police with its investigation and the matter is ongoing", it said.