Police believe threat of racial violence passed in Sydney

Police believe the threat of racial violence at Sydney's southern beaches has passed for now, the top state political leader said Monday, as he urged people to return to the seaside. "The intelligence and the security assessments are such that people are encouraged to return to normal business," New South Wales state Premier Morris Iemma told reporters. "This can change, but at the moment the assessments are that we want a return to normal."

Meanwhile, federal authorities have said they will begin trying to trace mobile phone text messages blamed for inciting race riots that rocked this city last week.

"The commonwealth law enforcement authorities have advised New South Wales police that they think they can start tracing all of these texts," New South Wales Police Minister Carl Scully told Macquarie Radio. "If that is the case and we do nab a few of them, that will be a very sobering message because they face the risk of being put in jail for a long time."

Police confiscated several mobile phones carrying such messages over the weekend, along with weapons including molotov cocktails, swords, knives, baseball bats and a club made from a stick studded with nails, reports the AP. I.L.

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