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Friday, January 27, 2023

Australia’s Terror Threat Level Lowers Since 2014

Radical Islamic groups' support in Australia is dwindling, though it hasn't completely disappeared

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

AUSTRALIA: Australia lowered its terrorism threat level on Monday to “possible” from “probable” for the first time since 2014, reflecting the reduced risk of terror threat attacks from extremists.

Mike Burgess, head of intelligence agency Asio, stated that the decision “was not taken lightly,” adding that there were now “fewer radicals with the desire to execute an attack onshore than there were when we elevated the threat level in 2014.”

The level of terror was raised in 2014, prompted by worries about the number of Australians purportedly fighting overseas with Islamist militant groups and the possibility of terrorist activities by people radicalised in Iraq or Syria.

However, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), a spy organisation, claimed that the circumstances that caused the threat level either no longer existed or merely remained to a lesser extent.

“Australia remains a potential terrorist target,” Burgess told reporters, mentioning the existence of fewer extremists who want to launch an attack onshore.

However, Burgess cautioned that the change did not mean that all terrorist concerns had vanished.

“It’s still possible that someone will die at the hands of a terrorist in Australia over the next 12 months, though of course we will work around the clock to avoid that,” he added.

A contentious programme criticised by the Liberal-National opposition was resumed last month when the Labor administration opted to repatriate four Australian mothers and their 13 children from a Syrian refugee camp.

Burgess claimed that the decision made on Monday was based on a plan to repatriate the terrorist Islamic State fighters who had been killed or detained.

Radical Islamic groups’ support in Australia is dwindling, though it hasn’t completely disappeared, Burgess said, and this has led to a decline in their capabilities, networks, and appeal on the international stage.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: France Thrashes Australia by 4-1

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