ASIO director general Duncan Lewis hints Australia will begin cyber take-down of terrorist websites

Getty / Dan Kitwood

Islamic State websites could be the next target in the fight against terrorism in Australia after ASIO director general Duncan Lewis said radicalisation online is as much of a threat as militants returning from the Middle East.

Following the lead of British Home Office, which has begun to take-down IS websites, The Daily Telegraph reports that ASIO would counter-attack, using social media to publicise the rape and sexual slavery of female militants and the murders of converts by extremists.

Lewis says new metadata laws would be a highly valuable source of information to combat the cyber problem.

The news comes as Prime Minister Tony Abbott claims that Australians are being taken “for mugs” by some immigrants, flagging a crackdown in the name of national security to remove “the benefit of the doubt”. Read more on that here.

The IS is well known for broadcasting its propaganda and threats via social media.

The most notable example of this in Australia was IS militant Khaled Sharrouf, one of Australia’s most deadly terrorists, tweeted a photo from Syria of his 7-year-old son holding the severed head of a solider.

Also pledging digital warfare on IS is infamous hacking group known as Anonymous.

Last month the group said: “We will track you down – every last one – and will kill you. You allowed yourselves to kill innocent people, we will therefore avenge their deaths.” Read more on that here.

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