The pope’s Christmas message. (If you can bear it.)
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Increasing number of Australians fighting for Islamic State
Yes, that’s RIGHT NOW! Who was it who said ISIS is defeated?
They are the Australians who have traded their lives down under for a life of battle and terror, joining the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.
And now it has been revealed an increasing number of our citizens are flying to Iraq and Syria to fight for extremist groups.
News Corp reports the AFP has issued 27 arrest warrants for Australian terror suspects fighting for IS in the Middle East, with seven issued since January.Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, who is likely dead, pictured with his sons in Syria.
Further disturbing statistics reveal around 230 Australians have travelled to Syria or Iraq to fight with or support extremist groups involved in the conflict.
It’s a deadly business, with close to 100 Australians losing their life while fighting under the ISIS flag.
It has led to increased concerns the foreign fighters will return to our country and use what they’ve learned in the Middle East to plot mass terror attacks on home soil.
Since 2014, there have been 15 foiled terror plots and seven successful attacks carried out in Australia.
In a recent interview with A Current Affair, RMIT global affairs expert Professor Joe Siracusa warned we’ve been “very lucky” that the attackers had been “lone wolves” using unsophisticated weapons.Islamic State fighters travelling through the so-called caliphate, pictured in 2013. (Supplied)
“We’re about to face people who are probably a lot brighter,” he told the program.
“There’s probably at least 60 people who will be coming back from Syria, from the civil war, and the people who will come back will have more information and expertise about ammunition, about bombs.”
Speaking to News Corp, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Australia is “not immune to the scourge of terrorism.”
“This government will continue to keep Australians safe and fight for laws like the recent encryption legislation to do so. If people are returning from conflicts overseas they do so into the hands of authorities,” the minister said.
It’s thought around 100 Australians are currently in Syria and Iraq fighting for, or supporting, Islamic extremist groups.
A CULTURED REASON CHRISTMAS
Back in 2014, the ABC’s Jonathan Green offered his solution to international Islamic terrorism:
Our best defence is of course our cultured reason. Our tolerance. Our audacious confidence in the fundamental goodness of others.