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Raised terror alert leads to increased event security

Raised terror alert leads to increased event security
September 13, 2014

Security is to be tightened at major sporting events and public gatherings in the wake of the Australian Government's decision to raise terror alert level to high.

With the Federal Government increasingly concerned about the risk posed by Australians fighting with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, fears have been raised that major sporting events such as the AFL and NRL grand finals and next year's AFC Asian Cup and ICC Cricket World Cup could be targeted by terrorists.

Attorney-General George Brandis said on Thursday (11th September) that raising the national alert level would mean a much greater presence of police at major events such as the AFL grand final in Melbourne later this month and at the NRL grand final in Sydney in October.

Senator Brandis told ABC radio "one would expect there to be additional measures, additional policing at events where there are large numbers of the public gathered for example."

Being played in Australia and New Zealand during February and March, the ICC Cricket World cup involves Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Prior to that, the AFC Asian Cup football tournament opens in Melbourne on 15th January when Australia plays Kuwait.

The major international event is expected to attract 45,000 visitors from overseas, and involves 16 teams including Iraq, Palestine, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this year, Islamic State reportedly issued a threat of terror attacks at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar unless it was moved to a different country.

In a letter purported to be from Islamic State and published on a jihadist website and in an Egyptian newspaper, the group warned football constituted a deviation from Islam.

The letter, addressed to world football governing body FIFA president Sepp Blatter, said Islamic State "has long-range scud missiles that can easily reach Qatar."

Image courtesy of Reddawn.




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