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New National Terrorism Threat Advisory System

New National Terrorism Threat Advisory System

The Australian Government has introduced a new National Terrorism Threat Advisory System.

The new system replaces the former National Terrorism Threat System and the Public Alert System, merging them into a single, more understandable and meaningful system.

The new system is a scale of levels that tells the public about the likelihood of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia.

New National Terrorism Threat Advisory System

The new system:

  • comprises a five tier, colour coded, National Terrorism Threat scale to inform the public about the level of the terrorist threat facing the nation
  • includes public advice on the nature of the threat
  • guides national preparation and planning to protect against the threat of a terrorist incident
  • rebalances the threat levels to reflect the current security environment that the country is facing.

The Australian Government has determined that the current threat is PROBABLE.

Whenever the Government makes a change to the National Terrorism Threat Level it will explain why there is a change.

The System will inform Australians about the likelihood of an act of terrorism occurring in Australia and enable authorities, businesses and individuals to take appropriate measures for their own safety and security as well as that of their family and friends.

The National Terrorism Threat Level also provides an indicator to government agencies enabling them to respond appropriately with national threat preparedness and response planning.

This ensures that an appropriate level of precaution and vigilance is maintained to minimise the threat of a terrorist incident.

The Australian Government regularly reviews the security environment and the Threat Level.

Information about the new system and the current level can be found at www.nationalsecurity.gov.au

Background:

The national terrorism 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.

We must maintain vigilance in the face of an escalating global terrorist threat that continues to affect Australia. This multifaceted threat was the reason the Commonwealth Government took the unprecedented step of raising the national terrorism threat level in September 2014.

The factors that underpinned that decision persist, and some have worsened. Those who wish to do us harm, some located here and some overseas, continue to view Australia as a legitimate target.

Where does the threat come from?

A small number of people in Australia adhere to an interpretation of Islam that is selective, violent and extreme. They are influenced by extreme messaging from terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who are active online, spreading their violent ideology and channelling persuasive propaganda to susceptible, vulnerable and easily influenced individuals.

The radicalisation and recruitment of Australians is increasing. Violent extremists are reaching out to those willing to listen and encouraging them to either join ISIL or to conduct attacks in its name. In some cases specific directions have been provided to conduct acts of terrorism here. Others, including those that are not in direct contact with violent extremists overseas, may be influenced by propaganda to undertake acts of terrorism in Australia. Those radicalised to violent extremism may display behavioural changes, develop new social networks and associations, withdraw from previous ones and promote an extremist ideology.

What are the likely targets?

Symbols of government and authorities perceived as terrorist adversaries, such as the military, police and security agencies, are often targeted by terrorists. However, indiscriminate attacks are increasing, and the risk to the general public in Australia remains.

Overseas extremists have encouraged local sympathisers and supporters to attack the public anywhere — attacks and plots in Europe and Africa in late 2015 targeting the public underscore this threat. Attacks of this nature are designed to cause injury or death and are aimed at disrupting our lives and damaging the nation by causing fear.

This is why it is important for the public to maintain a level of awareness and to report any suspicious activity immediately to authorities.

Our response

Federal, State and Territory Governments continue to focus on strengthening preventive efforts in partnership with industry, and on building Australia's social cohesion, together with the community.

  • 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; and
  • 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 immediately around them.

If you see, hear or become aware of something suspicious or unusual, call the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 00. Every call is important and could prevent a terrorist attack in Australia.

The www.nationalsecurity.gov.auwebsite provides further information on the current threat environment and what the government is doing to mitigate the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.

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