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Sydney Airport 'chaotic' with tight security and major delays after terror raids

Sydney Airport 'chaotic' with tight security and major delays after terror raids

Increased security caused major delays for passengers at Sydney Airport this morning, as police in the New South Wales capital continue to investigate an alleged terror plot to blow up a plane.

The regular Monday morning crush at Kingsford Smith — Australia's busiest airport — was made worse by extra checks, with some reporting queues snaking 100 meters and a "nervous energy in the air".

NSW police are gathering evidence at five homes around the city, while four men arrested during raids on Saturday night are being held in custody, with authorities using special terrorism powers.

A senior police source told the ABC that father and son Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat were among those being held.

The two other men being held, Khaled and Abdul Merhi, are believed to be related, but it is unclear how.

The ABC has been told the group allegedly planned to conceal the bomb in a meat grinder in order to smuggle it onto a plane.

Sydney Airport tweeted: "We encourage all passengers to arrive early today due to additional security measures in place. We appreciate your patience."

Matthew Connell boarded a flight this morning.

"The situation here is chaotic," he said.

"The staff are processing everyone as fast as they can but all the cameras and reporters are making people a bit jumpy.

Who was arrested over the alleged plot?

Four men remain in custody over the alleged plot to bring down a plane using a homemade bomb. This is what we know about them.

"There is a nervous energy in the air.

"We have been told to remove all security locks off our bags and almost everyone is being stopped and searched."

A 'legitimate and credible attempt to attack an aircraft'

Chris Cabbage, who travelled on a flight yesterday afternoon, questioned the need for the added security.

"They were having to pull people out of the line to get to their flight," he said.

"There was a big snake-line in front of security. It created this sense of threat and fear.

"Unless they're looking for something specific in people's bags, then you have to ask why?"

Virgin Airlines said the queues are busy as expected on a Monday morning, while Qantas said queues were moving "smoothly".

However, Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin said the extra security would save lives.

"We believe we have disrupted a legitimate and credible attempt to attack an aircraft," he said.

Another passenger, Geoff Keen, said people with checked-in baggage were experiencing the worst delays.

"There is extra security throughout the airport, more personnel and police in uniform and in the food court and terminals," he said.

 

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