Australian domestic intelligence warns of a threat from right-wing extremism in its own country. „The far-right threat is real and growing,“ said Mike Burgess, security director general of Australian domestic intelligence, last night (local time).
The right-wing extremists have been under the surveillance of the secret service for a while, but have come a lot closer to the agency’s focus after the attack on Muslims in Christchurch in New Zealand, said Burgess.
In the March 2019 attack, a 28-year-old Australian right-wing extremist murdered 51 people. The intelligence agency observed „small cells“ that held combat training in some Australian suburbs, saluted Nazi flags and shared their „hateful ideology“.
„Groups are more organized“
„These groups are more organized and more security-conscious than in previous years,“ said the secret service chief. „We continue to see some Australian extremists who want to get in touch with like-minded people in other parts of the world, sometimes personally.“ At the same time, he warned of violent Islamist extremism, which remains a major concern of the security authorities.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the media that terrorism and extremism exist in many different ways. „It is important that all of our efforts ensure the safety of the Australians,“ said Morrison.