SYDNEY - Australia will start taking face scans and fingerprints from visitors from 10 "high risk" nations in an effort to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country.
Unveiling a government white paper on counter terrorism, Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, said the country had become a target for terrorists and it was under "permanent" and increasing threat.
The paper, commissioned after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008, found that any success in fighting terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan had been offset by the rise of movements in Yemen and Somalia. "Terrorism continues to pose a serious threat and serious challenge to Australia's security interests. That threat is not diminishing," Mr Rudd said.
"In fact, the government security intelligence agencies assess that terrorism has become a persistent and permanent feature of Australia's security environment. These agencies warn that an attack could occur at any time."