Sydney terror raids linked to alleged plot to blow up plane, four arrested

UPDATE: Australian travellers will need to add more time on to the airport run in the wake of overnight terror raids.

Four men remain in custody, after being arrested by heavily armed counter-terrorism officers in Sydney on Saturday night.

They were taken from four separate properties over an alleged plot to blow up a plane.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised the work of the counter-terrorism agencies, but admitted it would lead to increased security measures at our airports.

“Further measures have been extended to all major airports at domestic and international terminals around the country overnight,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Some will be obvious to the public, some will not be.

“Travellers should arrive at terminals at least 2 hours before flights to allow ample time for [additional scrutiny at screening points], he added.”

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said it was believed the group was planning to commit a terrorist attack using an “improvised device”.

The four men are yet to be charged.

SATURDAY NIGHT: A MAJOR counter-terrorism operation is unfolding in Sydney tonight, with coordinated raids underway in several suburbs, reportedly in response to an alleged plot to blow up a plane.

Heavily armed officers from the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team first pounced on properties in the suburbs of Surry Hills, Wiley Park, Lakemba and Punchbowl late on Saturday afternoon.

The coordinated raids are part of an ongoing investigation involving the Australian Federal Police, Joint Counter Terrorism Team, ASIO and NSW Police Force.

It’s understood the swift response was triggered by an “aviation threat” which, according to multiple reports, involved an alleged plot to bring down a plane using a device. See videos below.

So far, four men have been arrested, one of whom was seen being led away by police from a property in Surry Hills where officers located an explosive device.

The man, whose hands were cable tied and head covered with a towel, was placed into an awaiting ambulance.

He could be seen bleeding from his head under the towel.

As he was being led to the ambulance,  he could be heard telling reporters he didn’t know why he was being arrested and claimed to have been bashed by police.

“They bashed me,” he said. When asked by who, the man replied “police”.

The bomb squad is now at the scene and the area has been locked down with the street closed in both directions.

In a statement released at 7.55pm on Saturday, the Australian Federal Police confirmed the raids were ongoing.

“These searches and the broader investigation remain ongoing, and further information will be made available at the appropriate time,” the statement said.

“Members of the public are urged to follow any instructions they receive from police at or in the vicinity of search locations.”

In a statement issued shortly after news of the raids broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had been “closely briefed” about the operation.

“These operations are designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I have been kept closely briefed on the progress of the operations by the heads of our relevant security agencies.

“However, as the operations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to provide further detail at this stage.”

“My number one priority, and that of my Government, is the safety and security of all Australians.

“The public should be reassured that our security and intelligence agencies are working tirelessly to keep us safe.”

Police remain at each scene.

Members of the community are urged to report any suspicious activity to triple zero (000), Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

This is a breaking news article. No further information was available at the time of writing.