Bomb threat shuts Australia international airport

After growing fears of terror-linked attacks by Islamic State and other groups

Afp February 03, 2019
Waiting passengers at Brisbane Airport in Australia. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY: One of Australia's busiest international airports was locked down after a man brandished a knife and made a bomb threat at a food court, prompting travellers to flee in panic, officials said on Sunday.

Queensland state police said they evacuated Brisbane Airport's international terminal late on Saturday after finding a "suspicious device" when they responded to reports of the 50-year-old man, who spoke Arabic, threatening a woman.

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Terrorism was later ruled out as the cause and the man was charged with domestic violence offences, falsely claiming to destroy or damage an aviation facility, and making a hoax bomb threat.

The device was found to be "inert", but Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said its complex appearance "indicates just the extraordinary lengths that a person has gone to to create perception of risk, threat and fear".

The device looked like a small, black safe with wires sticking out of it, according to a photograph released by police.

The man, who was taken into custody by police, is due to face court on Monday. The terminal was reopened after two hours.

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There have been growing fears of terror-linked attacks by Islamic State and other groups, with a foiled effort to target an Etihad flight with a crude bomb in Sydney in 2017.

Canberra introduced sweeping new security laws last year that included allowing Australian police to conduct random identity checks at airports.


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