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December 8, 2020 » Today News »

Australians urged to be vigilant to Christmas terrorism threat

Australians urged to be vigilant to Christmas terrorism threat

 Affected Countries: australia;

You can’t blame Australians for wanting to party hard this holiday season, to get back to the beach, get back to the shops, to gather in groups and not have to worry too much about social-distancing.

But there’s a timely warning that as we return to some kind of normal, we should not forget the threat of terrorism, which remains as dangerous as ever.

The deputy chair of the federal parliamentary intelligence committee, Anthony Byrne, says those who want to do us harm are likely to take advantage of any complacency over Christmas to inflict maximum damage to the morale of society as we come out of the pandemic.

“They have looked at places of mass congregation and thought how can they cause mass casualties,” he told 9News.

But, he has warned, it’s not just Islamic extremists who present a risk.

Mr Byrne says ASIO is facing an alarming spike in the number of cases involving extreme right-wing terrorism threats, similar to that involving the Christchurch attack in March last year.

“Two years ago it was 15 per cent of the caseload related to right-wing extremism, it’s now 30 to 40 per cent,” he said.

The Labor MP says we should be alert but not alarmed and we should use common sense when in public places such as shopping centres and even more so in places of worship.

“If you see something that’s out of place, you’ll pick it up,” Mr Byrne said.

“The same fortitude that we’ve shown in seeing off the COVID pandemic threat, it’s the same resilience, the same spirit.

“We just need to keep that in mind as we approach the Christmas period.”

Among his biggest worries is the radicalisation of young people online, warning that parents need to be aware of what their children are looking at.

“We have the security agencies working around the clock to keep us safe so we should be fortified by that but at the very same time we need to be vigilant,” he said.

Source: 9News