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National Terrorism Threat Advisory System


Aug 5, 2018

National Terrorism Threat Advisory System

Australia's current National Terrorism Threat Level is PROBABLE

The National Terrorism Threat Advisory System is a scale of five levels to provide advice about the likelihood of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia.

When the threat level changes, the Australian Government provides advice on what the threat level means, where the threat is coming from, potential targets and how a terrorist act may be carried out.

The National Terrorism Threat Level is regularly reviewed in line with the security environment and intelligence.

It is important to be aware of the current threat level and to report any suspicious incidents to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

The Australian Security Environment

Australia's National Terrorism Threat Level remains PROBABLE. Credible intelligence, assessed by our security agencies, indicates that individuals or groups continue to possess the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia. The public should continue to exercise caution and report any suspicious incidents to the National Security Hotline by calling 1800 123 400. Life-threatening situations should be reported to the police by calling Triple Zero (000).

International terrorist groups have proven adept at using their extremist ideology to motivate lone actors and small groups to use violence in their home countries. Individuals in Australia can be influenced directly by overseas-based extremists as well as by a wide range of propaganda which provides inspiration, encouragement and instructions for terrorist attacks onshore. External influence has been a feature of several prevented terrorism plots and attacks in Australia and also in terrorist incidents across Europe, the United States and Asia.

Terrorist targeting

While the symbolic appeal of an attack against a government or authority—such as the military, police and security agencies—remains, members of the public and locations where large crowds congregate could also be attacked indiscriminately. Attacks against the general public designed to cause injury or death are aimed at disrupting our lives and causing fear; even a simple attack can meet this objective. Additionally, an alleged complex terrorist plot to attack aviation disrupted in Sydney in July 2017 is a reminder that sophisticated terrorist plots targeting the West are possible.

It is important for the public to maintain a level of awareness and to report any suspicious activity immediately to authorities—www.nationalsecurity.gov.au provides information on what to report and how to report it.

Terrorist weapons and tactics

While the most likely form of terrorism in Australia remains an attack by an individual or small group using simple attack methodologies, the possibility of more complex attacks cannot be ruled out.

Any terrorist attack in Australia over the next 12 months would probably involve weapons and tactics that are low-cost and relatively simple, including basic weapons, explosives and/or firearms. Basic weapons are readily available, as everyday objects that do not require specialist skills. Terrorists have used basic weapons such as knives, machetes or vehicles to conduct lethal attacks. Explosives remain a favoured terrorist weapon globally. There is a range of online literature and propaganda that provide instructions on how homemade explosives can be manufactured from readily available materials. Firearms can be sourced through legal and illicit channels.

Our response

Governments are working closely with communities to prevent terrorism, combat terrorist propaganda online and promote early intervention programmes.

Federal, state and territory authorities have well-tested cooperative arrangements in place and have adopted appropriate security measures.

Police and security agencies liaise closely with critical infrastructure owners and operators.

In the current environment, Australians should go about their daily business as usual but should exercise caution and be aware of events around them. If you see, hear or become aware of something suspicious or unusual, call the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400. Every call is important and could prevent a terrorist attack in Australia.