Australian intelligence agencies have uncovered a plot by Islamic State militants to launch a 'Mumbai-type' terror attack on the parliament with prime minister Tony Abbott and other top officials being the prime targets.
Armed Federal Police officers had been deployed inside parliament in Canberra after fresh information emerged of a planned attack by suspects on the highest office.
"There will be armed federal police in and around our national parliament at all times," prime minister Abbott told a press conference. "Earlier this month I was advised of chatter among these terrorist networks of a potential attack on government, government people, parliament house," he said.
In response, he said, he ordered an urgent security review which recommended tighter measures at parliament. "I am concerned for the safety of the Australian people. It's not about me... it's about the safety of the Australian people," he added.
According to The Daily Telegraph, which quoted intelligence sources as saying that 'chatter' about parliament had been intercepted and they now feared the building had already been 'scoped out' for pre-planning of a 'Mumbai-style' attack.
They intercepted chatter by spy, police and counter-terrorism agencies, revealed talk about access to parliament.
Meanwhile, counter-terrorism police had conducted more raids following major operations in Sydney and Brisbane that saw four people charged, including one accused of plotting to kidnap and kill members of the public, Mail Online reported.
According to Australian Federal Police, acting commissioner Andrew Colvin, additional searches were carried out on last night.
Though Colvin did not reveal further details, he said the investigation was far from over.
A 'number of people' were still being detained following the Brisbane and Sydney raids on yesterday.
Omarjan Azari appeared in Sydney's Central Local Court charged with conspiracy to prepare a terrorist attack on Australian soil and is the first to be charged in the nation's largest counter-terrorism operation.
He appeared in court yesterday charged with a conspiracy to execute a terror strike on Australian soil.
According to court documents, police intercepted a phone call three days ago between Omarjan Azari and Mohammad Ali Baryalei, who allegedly recruited half of the 60 Australians fighting in the Middle East.
According to the account, he had been ordered by Baryalei to carry out an attack, which Sydney Central Local Court heard was 'clearly designed to shock, horror and terrify the community'. (See: Australian anti-terror force detains 15 over planned public beheadings)