Sydney — Security has been tightened at Australian airports after police foiled "Islamic-inspired" plans for a bomb attack on an aircraft during counterterrorism raids in which four men were arrested, the Australian Federal Police said on Sunday.
The increased security presence caused minor delays for some air transport operators and authorities warned travellers to prepare for potentially more disruptions as traffic picked up during the week.
"In recent days, law enforcement has become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist act using an improvised device," police commissioner Andrew Colvin said during a media conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
"We do believe it is Islamic-inspired terrorism. Exactly what is behind this is something that we will need to investigate fully.
"At this time, we don’t have a great deal of information on the specific attack, the location, date or time. However, we are investigating information indicating that the aviation industry was potentially a target."
Five properties were searched on Saturday across the Sydney suburbs of Surry Hills, Lakemba, Punchbowl and Wiley Park. The commissioner said four of those searches may continue for days.
A police spokesman said the four men, who were arrested on Saturday, had not been charged as of Sunday afternoon.
Turnbull said advice from Australian security and intelligence agencies had led to increased security measures at Sydney airport on Thursday, with tighter security implemented at the country’s other domestic and international airports on Saturday.
"Some of the measures will be obvious to the public, some will not be," Turnbull said.
Colvin said travellers could expect an increased police and security agency presence at airports.