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Australia raises terror alert to high for police

By
Amy R. Connolly
The Australian police raised the national terror threat level for police to high to correspond with the rest of the country. The increase is partially in response to the terrorist attack at a Sydney cafe on Dec. 15 that left three dead. Chalk messages have been left on the sidewalk outside the cafe. Photo by white ghost.ink/wikipedia/cc
The Australian police raised the national terror threat level for police to high to correspond with the rest of the country. The increase is partially in response to the terrorist attack at a Sydney cafe on Dec. 15 that left three dead. Chalk messages have been left on the sidewalk outside the cafe. Photo by white ghost.ink/wikipedia/cc

SYDNEY, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Australia's national security raised the terrorism threat level for police to high to correspond with the threat level across the country, indicating a terrorist attack was likely but not imminent.

Australian Federal Police said the new threat level puts police across the country in line with the broader threat level that already exists for the community. In September, the country's threat level was raised to high.

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"Recent events in France, Canada and Australia serve as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with policing," police said in a written statement. "While relatively small, there are increasing numbers of Australians who are connected with or inspired by overseas terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with the intent and capability to conduct an attack against police."

The move comes in the wake of the Dec. 15 hostage situation at a Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney that left three dead and the terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 dead earlier this month.

"We know that police are regularly faced with emergency situations and violent incidents, but in this current climate, in this current environment, we must emphasize the need for vigilance, awareness, for preparedness, and for operational readiness," acting New South Wales Police Commissioner Catherine Burn told ABC news.

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