Abbott on terrorism

The Herald reports:

Australian Tony Abbott has flagged a tougher stance on hate preaching and warned Australian citizenships could be revoked as he spelled out the worsening terrorist threat to the nation.

The outlined a number of steps to tackle terrorism in a speech at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra.

“The terrorist threat is rising at home and abroad and it’s becoming harder to combat,” Abbott said.

To date, 110 Australians have travelled overseas to join Isis (Islamic State), with 30 returning and at least 20 dead.

However, Abbott said there were at least 140 supporters in Australia and the country faced a real risk of Australians returning as “hardened jihadists” intent on radicalising others.

Since September when the national terrorist threat level was lifted to “high” – meaning a terrorist attack is likely – 20 people have been arrested and charged.

Spy agency ASIO has more than 400 “high priority” counter-terrorism investigations under way – more than double the number a year ago.

Under changes to be brought in this year, returning fighters will be prosecuted or monitored under control orders and could lose their citizenship and welfare benefits.

“Australians who take up arms with terrorist groups, especially while Australian military personnel are engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq, have sided against their country and should be treated accordingly,” Abbott said.

A national counter-terrorism co-ordinator will be appointed and the states will be included in the national strategy.

Abbott named the group Hizb ut-Tahrir as being among the organisations that will be targeted for “blatantly spreading discord and division”.

“The Government will be taking action against hate preachers,” he said.

 

I’m not sure the problem is Australians going to fight for the Islamic State. The problem is them returning!

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