Australian authorities want Nazi and Islamic State flags to be banned to help prevent another terror attack
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Affected Countries: australia;
The Australian Federal Police is hoping the government will ban Nazi and ISIS flags from being publicly displayed in the country.
It comes off the back of a warning issued by Australia’s intelligence agency ASIO that said a terror attack is likely in Australia in the next 12 months.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney has explained to the parliament’s intelligence and security committee that laws need to be amended at the national level to stop people from being radicalised and carry out attacks.
The national police body is also keen on preventing extremist groups recruiting young, impressionable people and getting them to harass the community.
One avenue in which the community is harassed in Australia is through the flying of extremist flags and one of the top members of the AFP supports them being banned.
“In the current environment, the time has come to strongly deter actions aimed at harassing and vilifying members of our community,” he said.
Commissioner McCartney also said there’s a gap in the current legislation that allows people to get away with suspicious activity.
At the moment, suspects can’t be charged with possessing or sharing extremist content unless it related directly to the planning of a terrorist attack.
“We think certain aspects of current criminal laws are out of step with the community’s expectations,” Mr McCartney said.
“Outside of legitimate research, public interest reporting and other professional reasons, there are no circumstances where individuals should be accessing or sharing instructional terrorist manuals, propaganda magazines, and graphically violent images, videos and other content produced by terrorists.
“The consequence of the current (legislative) gap is that police are limited in the action we can take to disrupt radicalised individuals when they are at an earlier stage in…attack planning.”
It comes after the head of ASIO warned we could be seeing a terror attack in Australia in the next year.
The intelligence agency’s director-general, Mike Burgess, said it could come from Islamic extremism or far-right wing extremism.
During the same committee, Mr Burgess said: “Obviously, terrorism threat level remains probable.
“Given the growth we’ve seen in nationalist and racist violent extremism we anticipate there will be a terrorist attack in this country in the next 12 months.
“It can come from either ideology and therefore for me doesn’t really matter, because they’re both capable of conducting acts of violence and that’s where we focus.”
Authorities said Islamic terrorism still remains their biggest focus, however the rise of far-right extremism has caused a big concern.
That side of extremism had grown from 16 per cent to 40 per cent of ASIO’s onshore terror-related workload over the past three years.
Source: Lad Bible