Australia Raises Terror Threat Level

The Australian government has raised its terror threat level to “high,” the second-highest level, over concerns about threats from domestic Islamic State supporters.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told a news conference on Friday that the move was not based on knowledge of a specific attack plan but rather intelligence that there are people with intent and the capability to mount attacks.

Abbott said the terrorist threat level had been rising in Australia over the past year, due in part to Australians joining the Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq.

Australia estimates up to 60 of its citizens are fighting alongside the militants while another 100 are actively supporting extremist groups from within Australia. 

Officials say security agencies are aware of at least 20 people who had returned to the country after fighting in the Middle East.

Australia’s government recently announced a nearly $600 million counter-terrorism package to boost support for security agencies.

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