Due to the continuing terrorist threat in Australia, the federal government launched a new National Terrorism Threat Advisory System on November 26th, 2015. The system provides five alert levels as follows:



The current threat level for Australia is Probable – “Credible intelligence, assessed by our security agencies indicates that individuals or groups have developed both the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia”. Under the previous system the Australian threat level had been High. This means that the level of threat currently faced in Australia hasn’t necessarily changed, only the way in which it is measured and communicated.

Various counter terrorism activities have recently taken place across Australia, including the arrest of individuals alleged to have been planning to undertake terrorist acts. There have also been a number of disrupted attacks linked to Islamic-extremist terrorism.

"Australia is now facing the most significant ongoing threat from terrorism that we have seen in our nation's history and this is likely to persist for some time. So the new system we are moving to allows us to provide more information to the Australian people about the nature of that." – Justice Minister Michael Keenan

Who Might Be Involved in an Attack?

In Australia, people have taken direction from or been inspired by leadership figures involved with terrorist groups. These groups also claim responsibility for terrorist activities which they have not been directly involved in to embellish their capability or inspire other groups to act in their name.

A further concern is the threat of Australian citizens participating in conflict areas abroad with terrorist or militant groups. These individuals may return to Australia with the intent and capability to conduct an attack.

How Would an Attack Occur?

"There are tremendous differences between the kind of terrorism events that can occur, the lone wolf as we have seen in this country and those like Paris and Lebanon." – Duncan Lewis, Director-General of Security – ASIO.

A terrorist attack in Australia would most likely be carried out by an individual or a small group. Low capability attacks remain the most likely, which involve the use of knives or firearms. The use of explosives and improvised explosive devices require a greater capability, although instructions to make these are available online.

Symbols of authority, including law enforcement, government buildings and military institutions are often targeted in terrorist attacks. However, random attacks on members of the general public are on the rise. The intent of such attacks is to cause maximum injury, death and disruption.

What Can You Do?

Australians should go about their daily business as usual, but should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings.

If you become aware of something suspicious, call the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00.

Businesses may need to review their plans and procedures. These should be updated to reflect the new National Terrorism Threat Advisory System. This will assist in allowing organisations to provide the best duty of care for their personnel.

For more information contact Joseph Iannazzo: joseph.iannazzo@dynamiqglobal.com

A link to the Australian National Terrorism Threat Advisory System can be found here.

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