Radical Islamic extremists pose the biggest terror risk to Australia
Affected Countries: australia;
Islamic extremists pose the biggest terror risk to Australia despite the ‘small but significant’ threat from far right-wing groups remaining on ASIO’s radar.
ASIO director-general Mike Burgess maintained Sunni Islamist extremism ‘remains the primary source of domestic terrorist threat’ in Australia.
‘Individuals who adhere to an extreme right-wing ideology currently constitute a small but significant proportion of ASIO’s counter-terrorism investigative cohort,’ he told The Australian.
Mr Burgess said ASIO doesn’t focus solely on a potential terror group’s particular ideology, but the threat they pose.
‘ASIO has been focused on (right-wing extremism) for many decades and has maintained continuous and dedicated resources to this area,’ he said.
In the wake of the Christchurch mosque massacre – where Brenton Tarrant allegedly killed 51 Muslim worshippers during Friday prayers – Australia’s security agencies have turned their attention towards monitoring right-wing radicals.
Questions were raised over whether police and ASIO were previously putting too much focus on Islamic extremism.
Just weeks after March’s terror attack, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said right-wing groups tend to avoid violence and prefer ‘rhetoric and ideology’ to get their message across.
Mr Ashton said a few right-wing groups in Victoria actively decided to shy away from brutality to avoid hampering their cause.
‘Fortunately, the approach groups have taken in Australia to date has been not to engage in acts of violence, preferring a more rhetorical and ideological-based approach,’ Mr Ashton said.
While the bulk of Australia’s terror threats aren’t affiliated with right-wing groups, ASIO warned right-wing extremists have become more organised.
‘Any future extreme right-wing-inspired attack in Australia would most likely be low-capability and conducted by a small actor or small group,’ the agency said.
‘Although a sophisticated weapons attack is possible.’
Source: Daily Mail