Counter-Terrorism: ISIL Versus Oz

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August 25, 2015: Most Western countries are more carefully monitoring their Moslem citizens who have gone off to join ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Syria. Australia has become particularly diligent in tracking this and believes there are currently about 150 Australians with ISIL in Syria. More alarming was the discovery that at least ten Australian Moslems had been assigned to a special unit that uses English speaking ISIL men to publicize ISIL activities to potential English speaking recruits and then help get these prospects to commit and actually get to Syria, or arrange for the new recruit to stay home and carry out terrorist acts there.

Since 2013 Australia has been working harder to prevent its Moslem citizens from joining extremist groups like ISIL or plotting domestic attacks in the name of ISIL or other radical groups. In 2014 the government enacted new laws that made it a crime to travel to areas designated as terror hotspots. The stiff penalties, including long jail terms, appears to have dissuaded some, but not all Australian ISIL recruits.

There are about half a million Australian Moslems and about half of them are Arabic speakers, the Moslem group most likely to join ISIL. Hundreds of Australian Moslems have been identified as ISIL members or strong supporters of ISIL. The English speaking ISIL unit has already been detected trying to contact Australian Moslems for the purpose of recruiting new terrorists, especially since the Australian government has made it more difficult for ISIL recruits to leave the country or engage in terrorist activities within Australia.

This ISIL interest in Australia is in part revenge and self-defense. Many ISIL leaders were former officers in Saddam’s army or secret police. These men eventually joined Islamic terror groups in Iraq and went on to create ISIL in 2013. These Islamic terrorists have bitter memories of Australian troops, especially SAS commandoes in Iraq. The troops from Oz left in 2009 but now the Australian SAS are back and the ISIL leadership believes it is easier to kill civilians in Australia than to go after Australian troops nearby. Since the Oz commandoes are believed to be involved in the hunt for ISIL leaders, this policy towards Australia is very personal. 

 


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