Threat to Aus­tralia real after call for lone wolf at­tacks: PM

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE threat of a ter­ror at­tack in Aus­tralia is “real”, Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said after the Is­lamic State group urged fol­low­ers to tar­get Syd­ney’s beach­side Bondi and the Mel­bourne Cricket Ground.

Re­spond­ing to an English­language on­line magazine that sin­gled out prom­i­nent Aus­tralian lo­ca­tions at which to kill peo­ple, Mr Turn­bull said it was a “dis­turb­ing re­minder” of the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion.

“We have a threat level of ‘prob­a­ble’, so it is a real threat,” he said on Septem­ber 6 when speak­ing to re­porters in Vientiane, Laos.

“The ca­pac­ity of Daesh, of course, is much less than they pro­claim it to be but we do have to be very alert to the ac­tions of these lone ac­tors,” he said, us­ing an­other name for the Is­lamic State.

The first edi­tion of the magazine Ru­miyah re­leased in English on­line on Septem­ber 5 called for at­tacks on the streets of Brunswick and Broad­mead­ows in Mel­bourne and Bondi in Syd­ney.

“Kill them at the MCG, the SCG [Syd­ney Cricket Ground], the Opera House, and even in their back­yards,” it said.

Mr Turn­bull said IS ji­hadists would “re­sort to ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties out­side of the Mid­dle East” as they came un­der more pres­sure on the bat­tle­field in Syria and Iraq.

In re­la­tion to so-called “lone wolf ” at­tack­ers, he said some in­di­vid­u­als could be rad­i­calised very quickly “and en­gage in very de­struc­tive, lethal con­duct”.

“Ev­ery time there is a ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent any­where in the world we learn as much as we can about it and then take those learn­ings to keep Aus­tralians more safe.”

Aus­tralia’s Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Keenan said the lat­est threat did not change the fun­da­men­tals in Aus­tralia, where the ter­ror threat was lifted to high in 2014.

“This is not the first time that IS has called for at­tacks in Aus­tralia and I don’t think it will be the last,” he told the Nine Net­work.

Of­fi­cials say they have stopped 10 ter­ror at­tacks in Aus­tralia in the past two years.

Po­lice chief for the state of Vic­to­ria Gra­ham Ash­ton said while it was the first time such threats had been pub­lished in English rather than Ara­bic, the magazine “ap­pears to be pro­pa­ganda”.

Mr Ash­ton said while po­lice were tak­ing the com­ments se­ri­ously, there was noth­ing to sug­gest any spe­cific threat to the places men­tioned.

“If any­thing arises then we’ll ob­vi­ously be act­ing on it, but at this stage there is noth­ing of any con­cern,” he told re­porters. –

Photo: EPA

A hand­out pic­ture made avail­able by the US Navy on Jan­u­ary 13 shows River­ine com­mand boats from the River­ine De­tach­ment 23 dur­ing a mar­itime air sup­port op­er­a­tions cen­tre ex­er­cise in the Ara­bian Sea.

Photo: AFP

Mal­colm Turn­bull wants Aus­tralia to be on the alert.

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