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Raids a reminder of real terror threat, says -

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ELEANOR HALL: The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says today's arrests are a sobering reminder of the
threat of terrorism in Australia.

Mr Rudd said he received full briefings on the investigations that led to today's raids and that at
this stage there is no need to raise the nation's counter-terrorism threat level.

Sabra Lane has our report.

SABRA LANE: Kevin Rudd's in tropical north Queensland for the 40th Pacific Islands Forum, it'll be
the largest international meeting he's hosted yet as Prime Minister.

But clearly, Mr Rudd's had a lot on his mind over the two days other than the forum agenda. As the
Prime Minister revealed this morning, he was briefed about the Melbourne counter-terrorism
operation on Sunday night.

KEVIN RUDD: On the evening of the 2nd of August I received a briefing from the national security
advisor and the acting commissioner of the Australian Federal Police and the director general of
the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation about the investigation into a number of
individuals in Melbourne who were allegedly planning a terrorist attack in Australia against an
Australian military base and who were also allegedly involved n supporting Al Shabab in its fight
against the Somali Government.

It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the arrests that took place today as the
matter is an ongoing investigation.

I would hasten to add that under Australia's justice system, all persons are presumed innocent
until found guilty in a court of law.

SABRA LANE: The Prime Minister commended the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, the
spy-agency ASIO and the Australian Crime Commission for working together.

And he says today's arrests are a reminder that the terrorism threat hasn't eased.

KEVIN RUDD: This is a sober reminder that the threat of terrorism to Australia continues. I also
have emphasised in my remarks however that in our system of criminal justice the presumption of
innocence remains.

There is an enduring threat from terrorism at home here in Australia as well as overseas. 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. However, I would like to make clear that I'm advised that
the Jakarta bombings are not connected to today's operation.

Australians will be concerned to hear about arrests of this nature in our midst. 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 within Australian society.

Nationally Australia has well developed plans and procedures to deal with terrorist threats. I am
advised that events today do not at this time warrant any change to our national counter-terrorism
level which remains at medium as it has been since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United

SABRA LANE: And Mr Rudd's rejected suggestions the planned attack meant Australian troops should be
withdrawn from Afghanistan.

KEVIN RUDD: Afghanistan cannot be surrendered as a training base of unlimited potential for
terrorists as it was prior to 2001. This is a difficult and ongoing fight in Afghanistan, I accept
that. I accept also that it is unpopular, but if we are to dealt with the threat of terrorism at
its various levels we must be dealing with where terrorists are trained, we must be dealing with
those who support them as we must be dealing with the current practical challenges which confront
our law enforcement agencies here in Australia.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.