CANBERRA, Australia – Intelligence agencies are monitoring suspected terror cells in Australia, a nation on edge since 88 of its people were killed in bombings on the island of Bali in October, the federal police chief said Tuesday.
The comments by Police Commissioner Mick Keelty followed reports that Australians were targeted in the Bali attack Oct. 12 because of the nation's close links to the United States.
Asked on Nine Network television whether federal police were monitoring terrorists, Keelty said: "In relation to sleeper cells in Australia, that's best left to intelligence agencies."
Shortly after the Bali bombings, Australian authorities raided homes across the nation in a sweep aimed at learning the strength of Jemaah Islamiyah, a pan-Asian Islamic terror group suspected in the bombings and of links to Al Qaeda.
"But how well organized they are, what their capacity is to actually mount any operation remains to be seen," Keelty said.
The Bali attack killed 192 people, 88 from Australia. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday that police confessions by two key planners of the attack showed Australians were targeted because of ties between Australia and the United States.