Major attack in Australia inevitable: anti-terror boss

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SYDNEY: A major attack in Australia is "inevitable", one of the nation's top counter-terrorism police officers said yesterday, warning that "anything can happen at any time".

Australian authorities said they have prevented 13 terror attacks on home soil in the past few years, including an alleged plot in July to bring down a plane using poisonous gas or a crude bomb disguised as a meat mincer.

"I don't like to say it, but it will happen. It is inevitable," New South Wales Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, the state's counter-terrorism boss, told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

"Despite everything that is being done and the good work by law enforcement and intelligence, without wanting to create unnecessary fear, it is going to happen."

Canberra has become increasingly worried about homegrown extremism and raised the national terror alert level in September 2014. It stands at "probable", the third in a five-level scale.

That means "credible intelligence, assessed by our security agencies, indicates that individuals or groups continue to possess the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia". - AFP