Crime & Justice

Australia’s spy chief warns of domestic terror attack in next 12 months

Sydney, Australia, Apr 29 (EFE).- The head of Australia’s domestic intelligence agency on Thursday warned that it anticipates a terror attack in the country in the next 12 months.

The Australian Security and Intelligence Organization’s (ASIO) director general Mike Burgess was speaking at a parliamentary inquiry in Canberra.

“If you look at our current caseload, we still think Sunni-based violent extremism is the major concern,” Burgess said.

“However, given the growth in nationalist and racist violence we have seen, we anticipate there will be a terrorist attack in this country in the next 12 months.”

The onshore work of ASIO related to the extreme right has risen from 16 to 40 percent in the last three years, he said, adding that the internet is “a force-multiplier for extremism.”

While right-wing extremism isn’t the predominant threat, “it’s the fastest-growing threat,” he said.

“It can come from either ideology and therefore for me doesn’t really matter, because they’re both capable of conducting acts of violence and that’s where we focus,” said the intelligence chief, whose appearance was broadcast by national broadcaster ABC.

In Australia, where the terror alert level remains at ‘probable,’ there have been two terrorist attacks in the last year, in which two people have died, according to Burgess.

In February 2020, Burgess warned that the threat from the extreme right was “real and growing” in Australia, detailing that the vigilance of its followers was heightened with the white supremacist attack on two mosques perpetrated by an Australian in New Zealand in March 2019, which left 51 dead. EFE


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