Australia’s counter-terrorism squads have prevented 230 suspected terrorists from leaving Australian airports to travel to the Middle East, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott announced on March 25.
Counter-terrorism officials have spoken to 85,000 people within the month of March, and 200 of those interviewed were prevented to take their flights, Mr Abbott said.
Among the 200 suspects are at least three teenage boys, Australia’s immigration minister Peter Dutton said. On March 12, officials were able to stop a 17-year-old boy believed to be traveling to the Middle East. Prior to the incident, border officials had intercepted two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, from leaving the Sydney Airport for the same reason.
Abbott said his government allotted an extra $650 million for the police department and security agencies. Fifty million of which were allotted for customs and border protection to establish counter-terror units at all eight international airports in the country. Mr Abbott said ISIS is a death cult devouring the people of Australia.
“It is absolutely critical that the people of Australia appreciate that the death cult is reaching out to vulnerable and impressionable young people. The death cult is reaching out, seeking effectively to brainwash people online,” Mr Abbott said during a press conference.
“What I really want to do is publicly thank and congratulate all of our arms and agencies but particularly Strategic Border Command on the work that they are doing. Our borders are secure in a way that they weren’t just a couple of years ago. Our country is safe in a way that it wasn’t just a couple of years ago and it is the skill, the professionalism, the commitment and the dedication of the people here at Strategic Border Command as well as our personnel and our agents right around our country and around the world who are doing this magnificent job,” Mr Abbott continued.
Australia Is A Hotbed for ISIS Recruitment Activities
Terrorism experts were puzzled as to how Australia has become a hotbed for ISIS recruitment activities.
There were about 100-250 Australians who have joined the fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq and Syria, according to London-based watch group International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence. This was particularly puzzling, as Australia is geographically located far from the Middle East, and it only has a population of 24 million, the watch group said.
In comparison, there are only about 100 Americans fighting alongside the ISIS, despite the U.S. having 13 times more people than Australia.
Experts were saying that Australian Muslims have grown distant from the rest of the Australian people. Some say ISIS has given Australia special attention for reasons remaining unknown. Some critics say Australia was reluctant at first to monitor people radicalized by the group. Others were pointing fingers on Mr Abbott’s offensive comments about Australia’s Muslim community.
One of the famous Australians members of the ISIS is Mohammad Ali Baryalei, who, from being a Sydney nightclub bouncer, has become a high-ranking official of the group. Another is Sydney-born Khaled Sharrouf who shocked the world by posting pictures of his 7-year-old son playing with a decapitated head of a military personnel.
Also read: ISIS Releases Hit List
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Source – http://www.pm.gov.au/media/2015-03-25/joint-doorstop-interview-canberra
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