A country known for its laid back, "no worries mate" attitude is on edge.
There's tension after a picture of the Sydney Opera House appeared in the latest issue of an online terrorism magazine. Notice the reference to bomb-making instructions superimposed onto the image.
"Inspire" is an English-language magazine published on the web by associates of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Some call the group the most active and dangerous of the organisation's international branches. The magazine includes the picture on page 35, according to a report from 7 News in Australia. Just in case you had any reservations on just how pro-terrorism this publication is, take a read of this excerpt from a 7 News article:
The magazine, which contains information on terrorism and bomb making, features a picture of the dead al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden on the cover of its sixth edition, with the headline Sadness, Contentment & Aspiration.
Or take a look at one of the top stories from the Fall 2010 issue:
Australian police forces in New South Wales said they aren't sure exactly how to interpret the impact of the photograph. Police commissioner Andrew Scipione told 7 News that the exposure of the image should shake Australians out of any false sense of complacency.
"If you thought the terrorism risk had diminished and gone away, then you are wrong," Scipione said on Thursday. "We should never become complacent when it comes to preventing acts of terrorism - so it is a really important wake-up call for us all."
7 News reports that it is believed to be the first time the magazine has ever used a picture from a Western country other than the United States.
Authorities have checked the famous opera house for any sign of a threat and said they found no evidence that the building is in any danger. NSW Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein told 7 News, he's more concerned about the impact of the literature on the community's vulnerable than on a terrorist attack.
The Australian government is keeping the terrorist threat level at medium, which ranks as the second least worrisome in the four category system. The country has been at the same medium ranking since 2003. The warning indicates that a terrorist attack could occur.