Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott warns of increased 'terror chatter' since Sydney siege

Terror threat remains high, prime minister reminds Australians

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The Independent Online

Australia’s prime minister has warned that security services are detecting “heightened levels of terror chatter” since a siege in Sydney in which three people died.

Tony Abbott said Australia’s National Security Committee had already met today to discuss the new developments.

"The national security agencies today indicated that there has been a heightened level of terrorist chatter in the aftermath of the Martin Place siege," Mr Abbott told a press conference in Sydney. "That's why it's important that people remain alert."

The prime minister did not refer to specific intelligence of a threat but said there was evidence that some individuals were intent on carrying out an attack.

"We don't know when and how an attack may come, but we do know there are people with the intent and the capability to carry out further attacks," he said.

Mr Abbott said Australia would not be raising its terror alert level from ‘high’ to ‘extreme’ and that he was “alerting people to the fact that the terror threat remains high”.

 

“As you all understand, at this level, an attack is likely,” he said.

During the Sydney siege earlier this month a lone gunman named Man Haron Monis took hostages for 16 hours at a cafe in central Sydney.

Two hostages and Mr Monis were killed when armed security services stormed the cafe.

Mr Abbott said earlier this month that the gunman “had been of interest to our security agencies” but was not on a government watch list of suspects.

Memorial services were held for victims of the siege earlier today.

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