Passengers told to limit luggage to reduce airport delays following terrorism raids

People crowd a terminal at Sydney's domestic airport as passengers are subjected to increased security in Sydney Australia Monday

The Australian Federal Police would not confirm media reports the alleged plot may have involved a bomb disguised in a meat grinder or the planned release of poisonous gas inside a plane.

"The travelling public can expect to experience an increased level of security scrutiny at the airport but they should not be concerned about these precautionary measures", it said.

"They should limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage as much as possible to ensure security screening is efficient".

Passengers on domestic flights should arrive at airports at least two hours before departure because of extra screening, he said, and those on worldwide flights should arrive at least three hours before takeoff. "In this case, we risk assess regularly, hourly sometimes, around the clock", he said according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Australian Federal Police and New South Wales police said in a joint statement that the four men taken into custody "are assisting police with their enquiries".

The four men arrested can be held for seven days without charge after a magistrate granted police special counter-terrorism powers.

The commissioner said the terror plot was Islamist-inspired but wouldn't link it to any particular terrorist group.

"The plot that we are investigating we believe was an attempt to put a device onto an aircraft, but beyond that the speculation is just that - it's speculation", Colvin told a press conference Monday.

Colvin said police were still investigating the specification location, date and time of the planned attack, but confirmed that information pointed to the likelihood that "the aviation industry was potentially a target".

"You should infer that we think this was credible and there was an intention, and there was quite possibly a capability as well".

Mr Turnbull said the arrangements could remain for some time.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said police found items that could be used to make a home-made bomb in one of the raided homes.

Airlines and airports are urging travellers to limit their baggage and arrive earlier for domestic and global flights, as tougher security measures prompt concerns of travel delays across the country.

Australia's national terror threat level has been set at "probable" - the third-highest on a scale of five - since late 2014.

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