Australian spy chief calls on army to fight domestic terrorism
The boss of Australia’s peak spy agency has called on the nation’s army to engage in the domestic fight against terrorism, reports Xinhua news agency.
Duncan Lewis, director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), on Wednesday told military officials that the army should assist domestic authorities to combat extremism.
Addressing the Land Forces Conference in Adelaide, he said he did not want army personnel to patrol streets, as was commonplace in Europe, but also did not want them to “sit on the sidelines.”
He said army intelligence and technology could provide key assistance to local authorities.
Of the 200 Australians who travelled to the Middle East to fight for the Daesh militant group, Lewis said 91 had died in combat while 40 returned to Australia.
He said those who had returned did not pose a threat to Australia, adding that ASIO’s main focus was on those who were still overseas, and other domestic threats.