The Courier-Mail

THEY’RE COMING FOR US ISIS will be aiming for Australia, warns PM


TONY Abbott has warned ISIS “is coming” for us as he left open the prospect of increasing Australia’s troop deployment to the Middle East.

The Prime Minister told his regional counterter­rorism summit he was talking to our allies about possible increases in our military involvemen­t in fighting ISIS in Iraq.

“We’ve sent a strong military force to the Middle East to hit Daesh from the air and to train and assist the Iraqi army to retake their own country,” Mr Abott told the summit yesterday.

“We are now talking with our friends and partners about how the air strikes might be more effective and how the Iraqi forces might be better helped.”

Referring to ISIS by the derogatory Arabic term “Daesh”, Mr Abbott said the terrorist group wanted to expand globally and could not be negotiated with.

“Daesh is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: submit or die,” Mr Abbott said.

“You can’t negotiate with an entity like this; you can only fight it.”

Ahead of Mr Abbott’s speech, US President Barack Obama flagged plans to send an extra 450 American troops to their mission advising and assisting Iraqi forces.

Australia currently has about 300 soldiers, mostly from Brisbane’s Enoggera Barracks, on a training mission at the Taji airbase north of Baghdad.

RAAF Hornet bombers have flown more than 600 sorties but have only fired on about a quarter of those missions to avoid civilian casualties, Defence says.

Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said the current campaign by Australia and our allies was “right” and “what the Iraqi government wants”.

Foreign leaders, ambassador­s, academics, religious representa­tives and IT experts are discussing ways to stop the spread of ISIS to Australia and our region in the two-day counterter­rorism summit in Sydney.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said terrorists used the same techniques as sexual predators to “groom” victims on social media.

Attorney-General George Brandis welcomed the involvemen­t of internet companies in the fight against the spread of ISIS.

Google is believed to have used a closed-door session to argue for a focus on promoting more YouTube content that challenges terrorist propaganda instead of any additional censorship.

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