Anti-terror police armed with assault rifles will patrol Brisbane and Canberra airports this Christmas.

And over the next six months, squads will be present in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast, followed in 2021 by Cairns, Adelaide and Darwin airports.

The extra 135 officers will be armed with MK18 short-barrelled rifles and trained to assess hostile threats and behaviour.

They will also be accompanied by bomb-detection dogs.

“These highly trained officers run towards dangerous incidents, not away from them,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“It is vital they have every resource necessary to help them do their job and protect the community.”

Australia’s terror threat remains at “probable”.

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“We know that Australia is at risk,” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said.

“In July 2017, a major terrorist plot was disrupted targeting a passenger flight departing from Sydney.

“Just this week, our law enforcement agencies have arrested a 21-year-old who is alleged to have been involved in advocating and preparing for terrorist acts.”