Wannabe jihadis slip net AFP chief says young insurgents dodge profiling
THE AFP’s counterterrorism boss admits agencies no longer have a “profile” of young Australians bound for jihad.
The admission comes in the wake of three Queenslanders who have travelled to terror hot spots in the past five weeks – none of whom were on the AFP’s terrorism watchlist.
“The first we hear about some of them (travelling) comes through the national security hotline, or people make direct contact, saying ‘We think one of our family members has already left’, and that is the first they know about it,’’ AFP counterterrorism Commander Peter Crozier said.
“There are things online that are instructing people in ways to circumvent processes and travel anonymously or covertly and that is the sort of material being pushed out.
“Not only have we got material inspiring people but also material which is assisting them to radicalisation and how to beat authorities.”
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said he was increasingly frustrated about the growing number of young men being groomed by radicals over the internet. He said law enforcement agencies were doing their best to identify potential jihadis but admitted “it was not failsafe”.
It is estimated up to a dozen Queenslanders are among about 100 Australians either in Syria or Iraq fighting with Is- lamic groups. Another 30 – including Queensland man Zia Abdul Haq, 33, who was fighting with Islamic State – have been killed.
Last week, Ashley Dyball, 23, from Brisbane, announced on social media that he had joined Kurdish militants YPG (People’s Protection Units), who are fighting ISIS.
Two weeks ago, it was revealed Toowoomba teenager Oliver Bridgeman had travelled to an area controlled by the al-Qa’ida-linked al-Nusra front in Syria.
And in late April, former Mackay paediatrician Tareq Kamleh appeared in an ISIS propaganda video after travelling to the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in Syria to offer his services as part of his “jihad for Islam”.