ASIO considers increasing Australian terror threat

ASIO considers increasing Australian terror threat

Australia’s domestic spy agency says it is seriously considering upgrading Australia’s official terror threat levelĀ  from medium to high, for the first time.

Director General of ASIO, David Irvine, says the terror threat has been building in Australia over the past year, and he now has an elevated level of concern.

The threat has been at medium since 2003, and raising it to high means an attack on Australia is likely.

Mr Irvine has told the ABC overnight, because of the influence of Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq, he is contemplating upgrading the threat over the coming days.

“I’m certainly contemplating very seriously the notion of lifting it higher because of the numbers of people we are now having to be concerned about in Australia, because of the influence of Syria and Iraq on young Australians both in terms of going to those places to fight, but also in terms of what they are doing here in Australia with a potential intent to attack,” he said.

Mr Irvine says there are currently at least 20 people in Australia who have fought in Iraq and Syria, and pose a threat to national security.

“You can rest assured that the Australian authorities know what they’re looking at and are taking very appropriate steps to monitor the situation and you can also be assured that if we see something developing or in fact evidence of a crime already having been committed then we’re going to move quickly to nip that in the bud,” he told the ABC’s 7:30 program.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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NRN Bulletin 21/9/12

9am NRN bulletin for Friday 21st September 2012