ISIS, Al-Qaeda’s influence pushes Australia to raise terror threat level
Such as "jabhat Al-Nusra"
ISIS extremists fighting against Iraq’s democratically elected Government.
Despite no direct threat from ISIS, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced to raise terrorism threat level from medium to high.
A BBC report says, the move comes in response to growing concern over the domestic impact of militant conflicts in Iraq and Syria. It has quoted the Prime Minister as saying, “Security officials were concerned by the growing number of Australians “working with, connected to or inspired by” Islamist groups.”
In his interactions with media, Abbott said, “I want to stress that this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no specific intelligence of particular plots. What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and capability to mount attacks here in Australia.”
Reports say that many Australian citizens have gone to Middle East to fight for jihadist groups such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and the Government is concerned about the domestic security related issues which may crop up once these war hardened fighters and militants return back home. This has been one of the major concerns not only for Australia, but also for the US and many European countries which have seen the participation of over 2000 of their nationals in this war for ISIS.
Australian Government has made it clear that people’s daily life will be normal but additional security at airports, ports, military bases, Government buildings and large public events could be seen. Reports suggest that at least 60 Australians are believed to be fighting alongside jihadist groups in Syria and northern Iraq, and 15 of them have been killed so far in these conflicts, including two suicide bombers.
The report suggests that over 100 Australians are thought to be actively supporting these groups.
In a bid to ward off any untoward incident, Australia has restricted citizens from travelling to certain areas to join militant groups, and is installing new counter-terrorism units and biometric screening at all international airports, the report said.
Having proclaimed the formation of the Islamic Caliphate, ISIS has claimed religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aspires to bring most of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control. They have declared war against incumbent Governments of Iraq, Syria and other territories of the Middle East which include Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and parts of southern Turkey.
Just before the outbreak of war in Iraq, reports of appeals to Muslims across the world to join ISIS had been pouring in. A Reuters report in June 2014 said that five Islamist fighters identified as Australian and British nationals called on Muslims to join the wars in Syria and Iraq, in a video released by the ISIS.
The report further adds that a jihadi, while speaking in the video, said, “We are a State which is implementing the sharia (Islamic law) in both Iraq and Sham (Syria), and look at the soldiers – we understand no borders.”
Clarifying their intentions, the jihadis had added, “We have participated in battles in Sham (Syria), and we will go to Iraq in a few days, and we will fight there, Allah permitting, and come back, and we will even go to Jordan and Lebanon, with no problems.”
Such appeals had made a deep impact among Muslim nationals from several European countries and the US. Some among them were reported to be backing and fighting for the cause of the ISIS.
It is significant to note that given the mounting threat from ISIS terrorists in countries which have been a part of the fight against Islamic terrorists, US President Barack Obama addressed Americans on Wednesday, laying out his strategy to combat the new group. The US president in his speech said that it just won’t be American soldiers wearing the boots. Obama described the American role as “using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.” It is possible, however, that there will be American footwear on the ground, as part of the initiative involves arming and supplying Iraqi and Syrian fighting forces. Obama warned the nation saying “It will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIS.”
Clearly, the tremors of a rising ISIS is being felt by the Governments which are part of anti-Islamic terrorism drive and they are gearing up to take the threat upfront. The Governments are raising alert level for their citizens and are working on the strategy to counter the menace.