Security stepped up at Australian airports

Four men were arrested in raids across the city on Saturday.

"You can expect longer delays to make sure that more screening is being done on baggage, both hold luggage as well as hand luggage", he said, adding that travellers should allow more time to get through security.

Lines ahead of the security screening area at Sydney Airport formed well before sunrise, affecting Qantas and Virgin Australia passengers.

Turnbull declined to say whether the group was guided by someone overseas.

The four men were arrested from raids in the Sydney suburbs of Surry Hills, Lakemba, Wiley Park and Punchbowl.

Late on Sunday, police said they had been granted a special seven-day extension in the New South Wales Magistrates Court to continue interrogating the four suspects without pressing charges.

Commissioner Andrew Colvin said police had recently become aware of information suggesting people in Sydney were planning to commit a "Islamist inspired" terrorist attack using an improvised explosive device.

"We do believe it is Islamic-inspired terrorism", he said.

It added that it was not yet known whether the flight number was related to the alleged terror plot.

News of the arrests was first announced on Saturday, in a press conference fronted by Colvin and Turnbull, who described the plot as an "elaborate conspiracy".

While commuters at Sydney Airport and Adelaide Airport faced a chaotic scene of long queues as a result of the additional screening methods, Brisbane Airport was largely spared from delays or extra waiting times.

"Police will allege they had the intent and were developing the capability", Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The Sydney Morning Herald also reported that a mincer was being examined, while The Australian newspaper cited multiple sources as saying it was a "non-traditional" device that could have emitted a toxic sulphur-based gas, which it said would have killed or immobilised everyone on board.

Authorities have increased security measures at Australian airports, prompting lengthy queues and passenger confusion.

The plot was the 13th significant threat disrupted by police since Australia's terrorist threat level was elevated in 2014, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said.

Most flights have been leaving on time despite the delays.


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