Australia’s domestic intelligence director said he believed that a terrorist attack on Australia’s soil was likely to occur within next year.
Comments were made during a parliamentary investigation, and the Australian Federal Police chief called the Internet a “hate salad bar” responsible for amplifying the militant message.
Mike Burgess, director of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), said Sunni-based violent extremism remains the number one concern for incident-based agencies. However, violence related to nationalists and supremacists has also increased significantly.
“Terrorist attacks are likely to occur within the next 12 months,” Burgess told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Information Security during an investigation into Australia’s militant movements and radicalism.
“It can come from either idealism, so it doesn’t really matter to me because both can commit violence. That’s where we focus.” He added.
The director said Sunni-based violence, or Islamic extremists, were predominantly in cities and foreign fighters were still returning to Australia.
Racist and supremacist groups are now growing to account for 40% of the workload of government agencies, up from one-third of the previous year.
Some individuals have combined extreme nationalist ideologies with racist ideologies, including anti-Indigenous, anti-Asia, or anti-Semitic beliefs.
Scott Lee, a deputy member of the anti-terrorism committee, said a 13-year-old Australian was being drawn into the group.
“They are working online in the bedroom,” he said.
“When we talk to our parents, they are totally invisible, depending on what they are doing and certainly their background, and they do not have as much digital literacy as their children. “
Ian McCartney, Deputy Secretary of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), warned that law enforcement agencies cannot monitor all online radicalization activities.
“I have a colleague who describes the internet as a” hatred salad bar “for what people can access on the internet, even at a very young age,” he told the committee.
“I think the online environment doubles the power of radicalism,” he said.
AFP is also promoting the criminalization of possession or sharing of propaganda, including flags and insignia that can cause radical violence.
In March, the government listed the Neo-Nazi Sonnen Creek Division as a terrorist group and joined al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) is the UK branch of the US-based Atomwaffen Division (AWD).
AWD aims to create a national socialist government through the violent “White Revolution” and believes that racial warfare is inevitable. Counter radicalism project..