Terrorism remains ‘real and persistent’ threat in Australia, warns intelligence chief

     The head of Australia’s domestic spy agency has said that terrorism still remains a ‘real and persistent’ threat even a decade after the Bali bombings. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Director General David Irvine said Australia still presents an attractive target for terrorists. As Australians prepare to mark the tenth anniversary of the Bali attack that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, Irvine said the greatest threat continues to be Islamists motivated by violent jihadist ideology.

“A decade on, while Australia is undeniably one of the safe countries in the world, the unfortunate reality is that the threat of terrorism remains real and persistent and therefore represents the greatest focus of ASIOs attention,” Irvine said in ASIO’s latest annual report. According to the Herald Sun, he said that home-grown terrorism is a principal concern, but a rise in right-wing extremism in parts of Europe has not been reflected in Australia . “Regardless, ASIO remains alert to any foundation or support for extremist ideologies that could result in extremist right-wing groups, or lone actors, engaging in acts of violence,” he added.

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