Is this supposed to be a feel-good story? A “Wow, the counterterrorism squads are doing a great job” story? But what now? Australia authorities aren’t going to dare to do a single thing to disabuse these young Muslims of their jihadist sentiments. So now that they have been prevented from going to the Islamic State, what if they decide to wage jihad at home? Wouldn’t it have been wiser to let them go and not let them return?
“Australia says 230 foiled in bid to join jihad,” Associated Press, March 26, 2015:
CANBERRA, Australia — Counterterrorism squads have prevented 230 suspected jihadists from departing Australian airports for the Middle East this month, including at least three teenage boys, officials said Wednesday.
Officials had previously announced that two Sydney-born brothers, ages 16 and 17, were intercepted at Sydney International Airport on March 8 attempting to board a flight for Turkey without their parents’ knowledge. The siblings were returned to their family and were to be charged.
Within a week, a 17-yearold boy was intercepted at the same airport on suspicion that he was headed for a Middle Eastern battle, Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said Wednesday.
The boy was again returned to his family, but remains under investigation, Dutton said.
Since counterterrorism units were attached to eight Australian airports in August, 86,000 travelers have been questioned and 230 people prevented from flying on suspicion that they were headed for the battlefields of Iraq and Syria to fight with groups including the Islamic State, Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament. Experts disagree about why the Islamic State has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in a 24thstraight year of growth….