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The ‘ever present risk’ of domestic terrorism

Article image for The ‘ever present risk’ of domestic terrorism

The head of Australia’s domestic intelligence agency is warning of a potential terrorist attack in Australia within the next 12 months.

ASIO boss Mike Burgess believes the rise of nationalist and racist extremist groups is a major concern.

Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said there was an “ever present risk” even through the pandemic and an increasingly assertive China.

“Some of the other challenges of extreme religious based terrorism of extreme ideological based terrorism don’t go away just because you’ve got new pressures.”

Scott: Mike Burgess’ comments, the head of ASIO, followed on hard of the heels of Mike Pezzullo, the head of the Home Affairs Department, when he talked about the drums of war are beating. When you take into account both of those comments, should Australians be feeling worried at the moment?

Minister Birmingham: Australians should know that though they live in uncertain times, and they are uncertain on a range of levels we have canvassed … all of those things create risk, but the government is aware of those risks. We are not turning away from them.

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Security and terrorism expert at Deakin University, Professor Greg Barton, said it was a “clumsy misstep” and use of words.

“I think one thing that’s a little bit confusing about Mike Burgess’ statement he says there will be a terror attack, I think what he means to say is there will be attempts of terror attacks.”

He said it was a reminder that while life goes on, there is constant work going on behind the scenes to stop terror attacks.

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Image: iStock

Scott Emerson
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