Prime Minister Tony Abbott says a new anti-terrorism unit has intercepted a person of interest at an Australian international airport.

A new airport-based counter-terrorism squad has intercepted a suspected terrorist.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament on Wednesday the government last week put new Australian Customs and Border Protection counter-terrorism units at Sydney and Melbourne international airports.

“I’m advised these new units have already intercepted at least one person of interest,” Mr Abbott said.

“This government will do everything that is necessary to keep this country safe.”

Similar units will be established at other Australian international airports.

Eventually 80 officers will be stationed at airports to monitor the movements of people on the national security watchlist.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan told parliament the Australian Federal Police had received an extra $6 million for “diversion and monitoring” of radicals returning to Australia.

As well, two dedicated AFP investigative teams were being set up to disrupt domestic extremist activities.

The AFP had also received $12 million to work with international partners, including establishing posts in Turkey and Jordan.

“The threat posed by Australians participating in foreign conflicts in Iraq and Syria is very real and is larger in scale than Australia has faced before,” Mr Keenan said.