JI­HAD HITS HOME 5 Rad­i­cals great­est threat to Aus­tralia

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - JIHAD HITS HOME - AVA BENNY-MOR­RI­SON CHRIS CLARKE

he said. “It looks like there was some at­tempt to light a fire and some ma­te­ri­als were there that he was plan­ning to ig­nite. There were gas cylin­ders in open po­si­tion.

“So it wasn’t any­thing re­motely so­phis­ti­cated … by the fact that it wasn’t ef­fec­tive. The car has ba­si­cally just caught fire and the fire bri­gade was able to ter­mi­nate the fire pretty quickly.”

Po­lice from the Vic­to­rian Joint Counter Ter­ror­ism Team – made up of Vic­to­ria Po­lice, the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice and the Aus­tralian Se­cu­rity In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion – raided homes at Wer­ribee and Meadow Heights.

Mr Ash­ton said as­sess­ments had been car­ried out ahead of to­day’s Re­mem­brance Day event at the Shrine of Re­mem­brance and there would be more po­lice on pa­trol de­spite no known threat.

Mr Ash­ton said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion would take some time.

“There are two in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der way,” he said.

“One is be­ing done by the homi­cide squad. They are pre­par­ing a brief of ev­i­dence for the Coro­ner.

“The Coro­ner at­tended the scene (on Fri­day night) and took a view­ing of the scene. That li­ai­son will con­tinue.

“We have spo­ken to more than 35 wit­nesses and taken state­ments to help shape that coro­nial brief of ev­i­dence.”

Mr Ash­ton said the coun- ter-ter­ror­ism was on­go­ing.

“There are a cou­ple of search war­rants un­der way,” he said. “They will con­tinue for some time. It is a full foren­sic search. We have been seiz­ing items so they will be sub­ject to in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the joint counter ter­ror­ism team.

“There could be fur­ther war­rants based on that and based on in­ves­ti­ga­tions which are be­ing con­ducted.” in­ves­ti­ga­tion PRIME Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son has sin­gled out Islamic ex­trem­ism as the great­est threat to “our very way of life”.

In an emo­tional speech fol­low­ing Mel­bourne’s Bourke Street ter­ror at­tack, the first ter­ror­ist in­ci­dent un­der his watch, Mr Mor­ri­son (pic­tured) said: “I’ve got to call it out – rad­i­cal, vi­o­lent, ex­trem­ist Islam that op­poses our very way of life.

“I am the first to pro­tect re­li­gious free­dom in this coun­try, but it also means I must be the first to call out re­li­gious ex­trem­ism. Re­li­gious ex­trem­ism takes many forms around the world, and no re­li­gion is im­mune from it. That is the les­son of his­tory, and sadly mod­ern his­tory as well.

“But here in Aus­tralia we would be kid­ding our­selves if we did not call out the fact that the great­est threat of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism, in this coun­try, is the rad­i­cal and dan­ger­ous ide­ol­ogy of ex­trem­ist Islam.”

He called on Islamic lead­ers to weed out the “evil thieves” who “prey on their com­mu­nity, on their vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, on their chil­dren”.

Mr Mor­ri­son said: ‘There is a spe­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity on re­li­gious lead­ers to pro­tect their re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties and en­sure dan­ger­ous teach­ings and ide­olo­gies do not take root here.’’

He was speak­ing as a grow­ing num­ber of Govern­ment MPs de­manded that ter­ror sus­pects liv­ing in Aus­tralia on visas be de­ported to their home coun­try. Lib­eral MP Ja­son Wood said yes­ter­day: “Any­one who goes on a watch list should be booted out. We cur­rently do it un­der the char­ac­ter test for the bikies, we just need to change the leg­is­la­tion to in­clude ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Ex­perts said Mr Mor­ri­son’s mes­sage was the strong­est of any mod­ern Aus­tralian leader.

“It’s hard to think of a more hard-line re­sponse in call­ing out Is­lamist ex­trem­ism than this,” Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity Pro­fes­sor John Blax­land said.

The de­bate was sparked by the Bourke St at­tack in which So­mali-born Has­san Khalif Shire Ali stabbed three peo­ple, killing one of them, af­ter blow­ing up his ute. Shire Ali was one of 400 peo­ple on an ASIO watch list. Au­thor­i­ties had can­celled his pass­port be­cause of con­cerns he was plan­ning to fight over­seas.

Lowy In­sti­tute re­search fel­low Rodger Shana­han said re­li­gion and ter­ror­ism was a sen­si­tive is­sue but some­thing that must be ac­knowl­edged.

“I think he has de­cided to call it as it is,” he said of Mr Mor­ri­son’s speech.

Islamic Coun­cil of Queens­land pres­i­dent Ali Kadri said Mr Mor­ri­son’s state­ments were “pretty bal­anced”.

“Us­ing terms like ‘ex­trem­ist Islam’ is prob­lem­atic as is us­ing terms like ‘ex­treme Chris­tian­ity’ be­cause Islam is Islam and there is no form of Islam which al­lows for any­one to mur­der peo­ple ran­domly,” he

said.

OUT­POUR­ING: Nino Pan­grazio, busi­ness part­ner of Sisto Malaspina (both be­low) em­braces a po­lice­man as trib­utes heap up at their restau­rant (be­low right). Po­lice search Shire Ali’s home yes­ter­day (far left), turn­ing away vis­i­tors. CCTV im­ages of the ji­hadi charg­ing at a se­cu­rity guard (be­low left). Main pic­ture: Yuri Kouzmin

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