Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said the foiled terror plot and arrest of four suspects in Melbourne on Tuesday are a reminder of the "enduring threat of terrorism both at home and overseas".
"This is a sober reminder that the threat of terrorism to Australia continues," Rudd
told reporters in the northern city of Cairns.
Rudd's remark came soon after the arrest of four suspects, all Australian citizen, allegedly linked to a Somali militant group during a series of pre-dawn raids on 19 properties in Melbourne and Colac. The group was planning a suicide attack on Sydney's Holsworthy Army base.
A Somali community spokesman on Tuesday said he had been warning of the prospect of an attempted terror attack on Australian soil for three years.
"Only too recently we have been reminded of the consequences of this threat in the tragic Jakarta bombings in which three Australians lost their lives," Rudd said stressing that the Indonesian attacks were not connected to today's arrests.
He acknowledged many Australians would be concerned about "arrests of this nature in our midst". Rudd, however, stressed the alleged terror group was small.
"Our assessment of the terrorist threat in Australia is that it comes from a small number of individuals who should in no way be taken as a wider reflection of any group in Australian society.