Dire warning terrorists are planning attacks on Australia after being radicalised by seeing extremist material during lockdown
- Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews warns terrorist attack could be planned
- Follows radicalisation of potential extremist after viewing material on dark web
- Says lockdown saw more people spending time online and threat of attack risen
- Individuals and groups monitored that have the intent and capability to attack
- Australia’s terror threat level has remained at ‘probable’ since 2014
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has issued a terror warning to Australians, claiming lockdown has exposed citizens to extremist material online.
She said the threat of an attack had risen as many Australians were stuck spending more time at home where potential extremists have accessed radical material on the dark web.
There are individuals or groups that agencies have credible intelligence on that have the intent and the capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia, she said.
Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews (pictured) stated the threat of a terror attack in Australia has risen with more people being radicalised by being exposed to extremist material online during lockdown
A 24-year-old male (pictured) was arrested in June 2021 following joint terrorism raids in Chester Hill and Sefton after he collected a large amount of extremist material and was in possession of several improvised explosive recipes. Police allege the man’s rhetoric online was escalating
‘We do know that during COVID, people have had a lot of time at home, they have had a lot of time online and some people have been looking at things they shouldn’t be looking at,’ she said to Sunrise on Tuesday morning.
‘So we know radicalisation has increased.’
While Australia’s terror threat level has remained at ‘probable’ since 2014, Ms Andrews said it is a threat that they take very seriously as they know radicalisation has increased due to people looking up this material during lockdown.
She also said that particularly with what is occurring in Afghanistan and overseas, this threat level is not taken lightly.
The minister described Australian intelligence as ‘some of the worlds best’, saying they are monitoring situations on home ground and overseas
A gunman killed 50 worshippers in March 2019 at the Al Noor Masjid and Linwood Masjid in Christchurch, New Zealand. A 28-year-old Australian man was charged with their murder
The minister described Australia’s intelligence as ‘some of the worlds best’ and commented they are monitoring what is happening on home ground and overseas with authorities ‘doing all that they can to make sure Australians are kept safe and secure.’
In the coming weeks, Ms Andrews will meet with Commonwealth, state and territory police agencies to discuss the handling of what she calls significant development in threats.
This parallels the 51 offenders currently in jail who have been charged with terror related offences who will start to be released in the coming years. Ms Andrews says there is legislation before the parliament that allow extended supervision to be put in place, allowing authorities to monitor these people closely.
‘Again, that’s all about keeping Australia safe,’ she remarked.
Another teenager from Albury was arrested in December, 2020 by the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team is expected to be charged with terrorism-related offences