Of course, it does have to do with a religion: members of a particular religious group are plotting violence against those who are not members of the group, and pointing to the religion’s teachings as their motivation and justification for that violence. Instead of confronting that, Abbott, like Barack Obama and David Cameron, has preferred to pretend that it is not the case, and that the religion’s teachings don’t really incite any violence. Their approach, while comforting, does nothing to stop jihad recruitment and incitement to violence from quarters where leaders assume that it is not and could not be happening.
“BREAKING: Tony Abbott increases Australia’s terrorism threat level from medium to high and warns Australians to expect increased security,” by Frank Coletta, Daily Mail Australia, September 12, 2014 (thanks to Kenneth):
The Prime Minister has today announced an increase to Australia’s terror threat alert from medium to high, the first time it has been at that level.
From today, he said, Australians will notice more security at airports, ports, military bases, government buildings, public landmarks and major sporting events.
It’s the highest alert level in more than a decade and means the chances of a terror strike is now considered ‘much more likely’.
‘Normal life in Australia can and must go on but there are people who wish to do us harm,’ Mr Abbot said.
60 known Australians are believed to be fighting with the so-called Islamic State in parts of northern Iraq and Syria and officials believe several have already returned to Australia.
Among those identified by Australian agencies as leaving to fight with the Islamic State militants are the likes of Mohammad Ali Baryalei and Mohamed Elomar.
‘We have no specific intelligence of particular plots,’ Mr Abbott said.
‘What we do have is intelligence is that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks, here in Australia.
‘We do know of people coming back from the Middle East, brutalised and accustomed to kill and do pose a direct threat to our community,’ added the PM.
Mr Abbott briefed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and all state and territory leaders ahead of making the announcement.
‘The only people who should feel in anyway impacted by this are terrorists,’ the PM said. ‘For the vast majority of Australians this will not change their daily life’
It was a move flagged overnight by the ASIO Director-General of Security, David Irvine, who advised the Federal Government to raise the terror threat to high.
‘For some considerable years, indeed since the Bali attacks, Australia and Australian institutions and people have been regarded by al-Qaeda and its offshoots as, they would say, legitimate targets for attack,’ Mr Irvine said.
‘Here in Australia a number of plots have been thwarted. The threat, therefore has always been with us.
‘What has happened in recent months, has been that the events in the Middle East have increased the level of activity among people who support some pretty distorted views, extremist violent views,’ Mr Irvine said.
He said there are now up to 10,000 foreign fighters in the Middle East conflict and between 60 and 70 of those are Australians.
‘There are people who have come home, and I use the figure tens, who have come home.’
The ASIO boss said itt was a decision based on a range of factors; including the number of Australians currently fighting with and supporting terror groups overseas, those who have been identified as having returned from working with militant organisations in the Middle East, people in Australia who have been identified as having shown support for extremists and those have urged supporters to prepare to launch attack against Australia.
‘This does not mean that a terror attack is imminent,’ stressed the Prime Minister.
The PM insists that normal life in Australia ‘can and must go on but there are people who wish to do us harm’.
‘The only people who should feel in anyway impacted by this are terrorists,’ the PM said.
‘This is about crime and combating crime. This is not about religion, this is about ensuring that this marvellous country of ours, this beacon of hope and optimism, continues to be just that.’…