Australia: top spy agency will boost its numbers from 980 to 1,860

Australia's top spy agency will almost double its staff over the next five years to fight the threat of terror attacks, Prime Minister John Howard said Sunday.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organization will boost its numbers from 980 to 1,860 by 2010, Howard told reporters in Sydney.

The move recommended by an independent report on intelligence staffing commissioned by the government follows the deadly July public transport bombings in London.

There has never been a major terrorist attack on Australian soil, but analysts believe Howard's strong support for the U.S.-led campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan make the country a target.

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