The Bold Voice of J&K

Sydney siege

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Jihadism has emerged the primary threat over the past decade and Australian governments have been correct to consider the threat. The Bali bombings demonstrated that this form of terrorism has posed the greatest likelihood of killing large number of Australians. There have also been several failed attempts at launching Jihadist attacks within Australia, which would have caused many deaths had they been successful. However, focusing exclusively on one threat can risk being taken by surprise by another. Judging both by incidents within Australia and international trends, far-right extremism poses a potential terrorist threat that is under-acknowledged. Since 2001, there have been several incidents of far-right extremist violence in Australia. While none resulted in prosecutions under terrorism legislation, some could be considered terrorism as they constitute acts of politically-motivated violence. For example, the only fatal terrorist attack in Australia this century was by a Christian anti-abortion extremist named Peter James Knight. On 16th July, 2001, he entered the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne and murdered a security guard in an attempted massacre. His plan had been to shoot as many people as possible, set the clinic on fire and seal the doors shut. Fortunately he was wrestled to the ground, foiling the plot. Another incident was an attempted campaign of organised violence by white supremacists in Perth. In 2004, and others to firebomb four Chinese restaurants.  In February 2010, another white supremacist incident occurred. Two people who styled themselves as the Australian branch of Combat 18 (a UK neo-Nazi group) fired bullets at the Canning Mosque in Perth. Also important to note is that far-right extremism in Australia has never been as violent as in comparable countries. Fortunately, the 2001 attack killed no more than one person, and the subsequent plots were not attempted acts of mass casualty terrorism. By contrast, other Western countries have seen many deaths caused by far-right terrorism. While Jihadism has posed the greatest threat of mass casualty terrorism to Australians this century, focusing on one threat can risk missing others. Australia has seen significant cases of far-right extremist violence, and international examples demonstrate a growing threat, showing public discussion of terrorism needs to broaden beyond Jihadism.

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