Monday, 04 Jun, 2007 Offbeat

Australia in Danger of Terrorist Attacks?


Five cities of Australia are featured on the list of the top 10 English-speaking cities for Google search on bomb-making. Australia ranked second after New Zealand in search volumes, according to Nick O'Brien, a counter-terrorism associate professor.

The top 10 list includes Auckland and New Plymouth in New Zealand ranked highest; Perth in Australia -third, Brisbane - fourth, Adelaide - sixth, Melbourne - seventh and Sydney - eighth. The recorded search numbers are partially explained by activity of criminal elements, such as bikie gangs. However, the terrorism experts are alarmed by the results, having concluded that Australia may soon be hit by a terrorist attack.

Nick O'Brien mentioned there had been a number of plots in the country, and a few terrorists had been convicted. According to the professor, there is a high probability that terrorists could one day reach their goal.

South Africa, Canada and Ireland follow New Zealand and Australia for the bomb-making search volume. The list is continued by Britain, the United States, Norway, the Philippines and Portugal. Prof O'Brien confessed he did not expect such results, just like the majority of people, who thought that the UK and US were at the top of the list.

If compared to the UK, Australians seem not to be much preoccupied with terrorist attacks. Still, the country's security agencies are on the look-out. More money have been recently spent on anti-terrorism security measures than during the Sydney Olympics.

Prof O'Brien held a speech devoted to the issue at the Sydney Human Factors in Security conference. He accentuated that law enforcement authorities must keep track of on-line usage on bomb-making related search strings to protect Australia from terrorist attacks.

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