Aussies Under Permanent Terror Alert
Major threat comes from homegrown jihadists, warns Rudd
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2010 4:42 AM CST
Police stand guard outside Sydney Opera House ahead of an international conference.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Australia is now under a permanently high threat of terrorist attack, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced yesterday. Rudd announced new counter terrorism measures including tougher visa checks and airport face scans on people from 10 countries considered to be high-risk, the BBC reports. The biggest danger, he warned, is from homegrown terrorists inspired by "international jihadist narratives."

Government officials say numerous attacks within Australia's borders have been thwarted and 38 people—of whom 37 are Australian citizens—have been prosecuted or face prosecution for terror-related crimes. The Australian government plans to set up a national counter terrorism command center and to work closely with ethnic communities to encourage integration and stamp out radicalism.