Why is Australia facing a domestic terror crisis?

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Originally Published on Channel 4 News

‘Isis is urging followers to carry out public beheadings, says Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. How did the country become a target and how do counter-terrorism officials respond?

Australia says it has completed its largest domestic counter-terrorism operation in history…

“For potentials jihadists harbouring even a basic intentions to travel from Australia to Syria, you require higher level of dedication, money and planning,” says Hannah Stewart, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. This, coupled with Australia’s recent decision to send a 600-strong force to the Middle East to join the US in the fight against IS, has potentially reinforced their motivations.

“Australia supported the 2003 Iraq invasion, and is now embroiled in a fight led by America – the arch-nemesis of the west,” Ms Stewart adds. “In the Jihadist narrative, the country is just as much ‘the west’ and pro-America as Britain.” Geography, in the eyes of Islamic State cause at least, means little in a battle of ideology.’

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