UPDATE: COUNTER-TERRORISM authorities are today applying to the Federal Court in Sydney for an extension of time to detain the four men arrested in raids yesterday allegedly involving a plot to bomb a plane.

Under Commonwealth laws, a person can be detained for up to seven days with a warrant from a Federal Court judge.

Police said that it could take several days to complete the searches of the men's homes.

A terrorist plot to bring down a domestic flight with a bomb was at the centre of the series of raids across ­Sydney yesterday targeting an alleged Islamic extremist cell.

Wearing gas masks and ballistic ­armour, backed by fire crews and specially trained paramedics, officers from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team stormed four properties in Sydney's west - at Sproule St, Lakemba, Renown Ave, Wiley Park, Victoria Rd, Punchbowl and Craig St, Punchbowl - and a terrace on Goodlet Lne, Surry Hills, in the inner city.

A man with a bandaged head is taken away in an ambulance after today's raid in Surry Hills.
A man with a bandaged head is taken away in an ambulance after today's raid in Surry Hills. Dylan Robinson

The raids had been planned for ­several days and are understood to have been brought forward for ­operational reasons.

This morning Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed the plot and said security at airports around the country had been tightened.

Where the terror raids happened.
Where the terror raids happened.

A law enforcement official said officers involved in the searches were looking for material that could be used to make an improvised explosive device or "some other method" to bring down a domestic passenger plane.

"There was a threat of a device and an aircraft," the official said, but added that its credibility was still being ­determined.

Emergency crews speak to and treat a man and woman outside the house in Surry Hills.
Emergency crews speak to and treat a man and woman outside the house in Surry Hills. Dylan Robinson

Four men were taken into custody and were helping police with inquiries last night.

Some media reports claimed a suspicious device needed to be removed from the Surry Hills property.

Neighbour Daniel Mozumder, 40, said the man arrested in Renown Ave, Wiley Park, was aged in his 50s and lived a low key existence.

"He didn't mix with anyone, he kept himself to himself and sometimes family members would visit; the only time you saw him is when he stood in the backyard watching his nieces and nephews playing cricket."

Another neighbour said he lived there with his brother and the two nurtured a community of stray cats.

"He and his brother would feed about 15 cats and when we complained that they were bringing ticks and diseases into the block, they would walk off," the woman who asked not to be named said.

"He was a strange man, he never looked at you in the eye when you spoke to him."

A neighbour on Craig St, Punchbowl said they were having a barbecue last night when they heard yelling.

She said police talked to a man in a wheelchair and four other women.

"One of the ladies was screaming that's how we noticed," the neighbour said. "There were police going in and out ... they were searching all night.

"We were scared to go outside ... we didn't know what it was about.

"We don't really know them, we just say hi because they're Lebanese as well. "They seem like good people."

Police at Sproule Street Lakemba this morning following last night’s terror raids.
Police at Sproule Street Lakemba this morning following last night’s terror raids. News Corp Australia

At Surry Hills, where parts of Cleveland St were shut down from 1pm to create an exclusion zone, a man shrouded under a bed sheet was ­escorted into an ambulance by police before being taken into custody.

As the arrest unfolded, paramedics attended to the man, who had a bandage covering his head, and a woman whose wrists had been cable-tied.

An elderly woman was also escorted from the scene by police, her head covered by a leopard-skin print jacket.

Police take an older woman to a waiting car at the scene where a property was raided on Goodlet Lane in Surry Hills.
Police take an older woman to a waiting car at the scene where a property was raided on Goodlet Lane in Surry Hills. Damian Shaw

When asked why he'd been ­arrested, the man said "No idea", then added: "They bashed me."

Neighbours described the man's parents as a "lovely couple" who held barbecues every Sunday.

Relatives of two of the men arrested told media last night that they "love Australia".

Neighbour Kate Harrison said: "There must have been at least 40 riot squad police with huge guns."

Police arrest a man during the Surry Hills raid.
Police arrest a man during the Surry Hills raid. Nine News

Witnesses reported hearing a lot of screaming and dogs barking as police raided the property.

At Sproule St, Australian Federal Police forensic officers were seen entering a property wearing gas masks while paramedics in helmets stood on standby.

A northern section of the road was blocked off for much of the night, but neighbours were allowed to return to their homes about 10.30pm.

It is understood the men arrested were known to police and not part of a recent crop of radicalised youths quickly recruited via the internet to carry out extremist attacks.

Police raid a house in Surry Hills, closing off a portion of Cleveland St.
Police raid a house in Surry Hills, closing off a portion of Cleveland St. Dylan Robinson

Renown Ave, Wiley Park, was the scene of a previous anti-terror raid in 2005, codenamed Operation Pendennis. That investigation involved a conspiracy to blow up public spaces in NSW and Victoria.

Among those arrested at the time was Khaled Sharrouf, who left Australia after being released from jail to join Islamic State in Syria.

The alleged scheme at the centre of yesterday's operation appeared to signal a move back to the more sophisticated attacks of years past involving the bombing of buildings and infrastructure, an official said.

Recently foiled plots in both NSW and Victoria have involved crude weapons such as kitchen knives and vehicles to inspire terror.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reacts during an address to media at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Sydney, Sunday, July 30, 2017 following yesterdays counter terror raids. Four men have been arrested after the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism team conducted raids throughout Sydney suburbs. (AAP Image/Sam Mooy) NO ARCHIVING
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reacts during an address to media at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Sydney, Sunday, July 30, 2017 following yesterdays counter terror raids. Four men have been arrested after the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism team conducted raids throughout Sydney suburbs. (AAP Image/Sam Mooy) NO ARCHIVING

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a written statement saying a number of agencies had been working towards preventing and disrupting the potential for an attack.

"I have been kept closely briefed on the progress of the operations by the heads of our relevant security agencies," he said. "However, as the operations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to provide further detail at this stage.

"These operations are designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia."

Cleveland St remained closed to traffic last night as crime scene officers seized evidence and took photographs as they moved through the house.

They were accompanied by Fire and Rescue NSW officers and ­members of NSW Police Rescue.

EARLIER: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned people to expect tighter airport security in the wake of a terror plot to blow up a domestic flight.

Speaking in Sydney following yesterday's terror raids, Mr Turnbull confirmed there had been a "major joint counter-terrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an aeroplane".

Mr Turnbull said the investigation was ongoing and that four men had been arrested in connection with the plot.

He said measures put in place at Sydney airport on Thursday have now been extended to all major airports at domestic and international terminals around the country overnight.

"Now this ensures national consistency of our aviation security arrangements," he said.

"Some of the measures will be obvious to the public, some will not be.

"Travellers should be prepared for additional scrutiny at screening points, and while it is important that Australians are aware of the increased threat - be assured we have the finest security and intelligence services in the world and they are working, as is my government, and all our governments around Australia, night and day, to keep Australians safe."

Last night counter terrorism police, supported by fire crews and paramedics, raided five properties at Lakemba, Wiley Park, Punchbowl and a terrace on Goodlet Lne, Surry Hills, in the inner city.

Police officers are seen during counter-terrorism raids in Sydney on Saturday afternoon. (AAP Image/Sam Mooy)
Police officers are seen during counter-terrorism raids in Sydney on Saturday afternoon. (AAP Image/Sam Mooy)

The raids had been planned for ­several days and are understood to have been brought forward for ­operational reasons. Four men were arrested and are currently being questioned by police.
The family who lived in the raided house on Cleveland Street in Surry Hills have been described as "perfectly nice and normal people" by a neighbour.

"We knew them to say hello to and they seemed nice," the woman in her early 30s, who didn't want to be identified, told AAP.

An elderly couple lived in the home, the neighbour said, and they had adult children.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said officers became aware people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an "improvised device".

Commissioner Colvin said the four men in custody had not been charged by police. Police believed the attack would target the Australian aviation industry at a major airport.

 

 

NSW TERROR RAID: Evil terror plot to blow up a plane

A TERRORIST plot to bring down a domestic flight with a bomb was at the centre of a series of raids across ­Sydney yesterday targeting an alleged Islamic extremist cell.

Wearing gas masks and ballistic ­armour, backed by fire crews and specially trained paramedics, officers from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team stormed three properties in Sydney's west - at Sproule St, Lakemba, Renown Ave, Wiley Park, and Victoria Rd, Punchbowl - and a terrace on Goodlet Lne, Surry Hills, in the inner city.

The raids had been planned for ­several days and are understood to have been brought forward for ­operational reasons.

Police outside the Surry Hills terrace house. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Police outside the Surry Hills terrace house. Picture: Dylan Robinson

A law enforcement official said officers involved in the searches were looking for material that could be used to make an improvised explosive device or "some other method" to bring down a domestic passenger plane.

"There was a threat of a device and an aircraft," the official said, but added that its credibility was still being ­determined.

Four men were taken into custody and were helping police with inquiries last night. Some media reports claimed a suspicious device needed to be removed from the Surry Hills property.

At Surry Hills, where parts of Cleveland St were shut down from 1pm to create an exclusion zone, a man shrouded under a bed sheet was ­escorted into an ambulance by police before being taken into custody.

As the arrest unfolded, paramedics attended to the man, who had a bandage covering his head, and a woman whose wrists had been cable-tied.

An elderly woman was also escorted from the scene by police, her head covered by a leopard-skin print jacket.

Several women wearing hijabs were also at the scene, as was a young boy.

When asked why he'd been ­arrested, the man said "No idea", then added: "They bashed me."

Neighbours described the man's parents as a "lovely couple" who held barbecues every Sunday.

Relatives of two of the men arrested told media last night that they "love Australia".

Neighbour Kate Harrison said: "There must have been at least 40 riot squad police with huge guns."

Witnesses reported hearing a lot of screaming and dogs barking as police raided the property.

Police raid a house in Surry Hills yesterday. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Police raid a house in Surry Hills yesterday. Picture: Dylan Robinson

At Sproule St, Australian Federal Police forensic officers were seen entering a property wearing gas masks while paramedics in helmets stood on standby.

A northern section of the road was blocked off for much of the night, but neighbours were allowed to return to their homes about 10.30pm.

It is understood the men arrested were known to police and not part of a recent crop of radicalised youths quickly recruited via the internet to carry out extremist attacks.

Renown Ave, Wiley Park, was the scene of a previous anti-terror raid in 2005, codenamed Operation Pendennis. That investigation involved a conspiracy to blow up public spaces in NSW and Victoria.

Among those arrested at the time was Khaled Sharrouf, who left Australia after being released from jail to join Islamic State in Syria.

The alleged scheme at the centre of yesterday's operation appeared to signal a move back to the more sophisticated attacks of years past involving the bombing of buildings and infrastructure, an official said.

Recently foiled plots in both NSW and Victoria have involved crude weapons such as kitchen knives and vehicles to inspire terror.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a written statement saying a number of agencies had been working towards preventing and disrupting the potential for an attack.

"I have been kept closely briefed on the progress of the operations by the heads of our relevant security agencies," he said. "However, as the operations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to provide further detail at this stage.

"These operations are designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia."

Cleveland St remained closed to traffic last night as crime scene officers seized evidence and took photographs as they moved through the house.

They were accompanied by Fire and Rescue NSW officers and ­members of NSW Police Rescue.

News Corp Australia

Lismore Gallery exhibits capture our reach

Lismore Gallery exhibits capture our reach

As a public facility the gallery's remit is ensure reach is broad

Escape the screens and let's get cycling

Escape the screens and let's get cycling

cycling gives your mind a break and your body an influx of oxygen

Gallery exhibits a 'portrait' of Lismore

Gallery exhibits a 'portrait' of Lismore

Two of our best photographers give Heart & Soul to new exhibition

Local Partners