Thursday September 27 2012
– Violent young Muslim men who took part in the Sydney riot two weeks ago could step up to become the next terrorists if they fall under the wrong influences, a senior Australian Federal Police officer said yesterday.
He said the new lone-wolf mode of attack was even more challenging for all security agencies than large scale plots. “These are hard core people who are not going to stop and probably need to be jailed to keep the community safer.”
International experts have suggested that many terrorists have a very superficial understanding of their cause, and the AFP’s assistant commissioner for counter-terrorism, Steve Lancaster said of the Sydney protesters “a small group just wanted to go and punch on with the coppers – straight out hooliganism”. But it took a quantum leap to go from talking about violence to being a terrorist.
He said Lebanese were over-represented in the distorted Sunni Islamist ideology in Australia, making 23% of the Muslim population but 60% of those arrested on terror charges.
Some Muslims in Australia had strong links with Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan. “When they return it is very difficult to find out what they’ve been up to and how extreme they’ve become. It’s very difficult to assess what influence they will have in Australia. That’s why it’s important to have strong links with international authorities.”
Mr Lancaster said the raids earlier this month on people associated with the al-Furqan bookshop in Springvale showed terrorism was still a real threat, but the trend was moving from large, spectacular attacks to small, simple attacks.
Shandon Harris-Hogan, at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, said terrorists’ target selection and means had changed in the past five years. The new trend was independent “self-starters” who favoured using guns and knives against combatants, compared to armed groups overseas.
Andrew Zammit, another Monash researcher, told the conference that since 2003 – unlike other Western countries – Australia had only experienced self-starting plots, and the threat now came from groups and individuals more often inspired by al-Qaeda than directed by them.
It was not because Australia lacked jihadis, as dozens had travelled to train or fight overseas. The main factor was that global terrorism’s “middle management”, the people who linked the grassroots with the leadership and the overseas training camps, had been largely disrupted.
Samir Dandan, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, said Mr Lancaster was demonising people based on prosecutions, not convictions, so that the percentile of Lebanese could be lower when all the cases were heard – Barney Zwartz


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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