Australia is drafting special plans to prevent terror attacks in crowded places such as popular tourist destinations, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the latest onslaught in Barcelona. The Australian premier said his country stands in "resolute solidarity" with the Spanish people in the wake of the extremist incident.
At least 13 people have been killed and more than 100 others left injured when a van ploughed through pedestrians in a busy tourist area in central Barcelona on Thursday, 17 August. Several Australians are also thought to be among the victims.
"We have seen how deadly vehicle attacks can be. We've seen it recently in London, of course, in the Borough Market attack and of course tragically in Australia, in the attack on the Bourke Street Mall," Malcolm told a press conference early on Friday. Malcolm was accompanied by security and counterterror officials as he sought to reassure Australians of the government's efforts in tackling extremism in his own country.
"Following the truck attack in Nice last year ... I asked [the former] commonwealth counter-terrorism coordinator, Greg Moriarty, to work on protecting crowded places in Australia. That work has been completed now, and it will be released shortly," added the Australian leader.
Calling the new proposal a "comprehensive analysis," Malcolm continued: "It's the product of very careful work with state and territory police, agencies, with local government, with the private sector, with the owners of venues and crowded places, shopping centres, sporting arenas and so forth."
Subsequent to Malcolm's remarks, a government spokesperson declined to say when exactly the new plans would be revealed.
The Barcelona attack, which Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called "jihadi terrorism," has attracted stinging condemnation from top leaders across the world.