Australia will be subject to further anti-terrorism raids, similar to those recently carried out in Sydney and Brisbane, according to Australian Federal Police (AFP) assistant commissioner Neil Gaughan.
During last night’s Q&A on ABC, Attorney-General George Brandis was the sole panelist fielding questions relating to terrorism and racism, but it was Gaughan, from his seat in the audience, who warned of the strong possibility of future raids.
“What we will see now is more raids like we saw in Sydney because the environment has changed,” Gaughan said.
“The paradigm has changed such that we will be forced to react much quicker than what we previously have, and I think the community will see more of this where we will do a large number of execution of search warrants and probably only one or two arrests.”
“We make no apologies,” Gaughan said.
Gaughan also defended the first round of blitzkrieg-style raids in September, known as Operation Appleby, which involved around 800 police officers but resulted in just two arrests.
When host Tony Jones questioned the assistant commissioner about the size and scale of future raids being comparable to the Sydney and Brisbane operations, Gaughan was quick to dismiss the comments.
“I didn’t say that… I said what the community will see and what the community will have to expect is similar raids that will take place in the future,” Gaughan said.
The assistant commissioner also said that one weapon seized during the raids – initially reported to be a plastic sword – was a “legitimate weapon”.