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August 29, 2007
Australia launches biggest security op for APEC

Australian security officials said on Wednesday they had received no intelligence of a terrorist threat to the Asia-Pacific leaders summit in Sydney next week, but had launched the country's biggest ever security operation.

Australia's counter-terrorism alert remained unchanged at medium, which meant a terrorist attack could occur, said security officials during a display of security on Sydney Harbour. "That was the threat level we moved to immediately post 9/11, it hasn't changed," said Andrew Scipione, New South Wales state police commissioner from Saturday.

"There has been no intelligence of recent times that would tell us we would need to change that level of threat," Scipione told Reuters.

If intelligence indicated an attack was likely, Australia would elevate its alert status to high, one short of the maximum alert that an attack was imminent or had occurred.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has never suffered a major peace-time attack on home soil, although 92 Australians were among more than 220 people killed in bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2002 and 2005. Reuters reports

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