The Federal Government’s crackdown on Australians travelling overseas with the intention of joining the fight in Syria and Iraq has been quietly progressing, with at least five suspected jihadists being detained over the past few months.
On Sunday, a man was stopped at Sydney Airport, while another man and his family were stopped at Melbourne Airport on Monday, according to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Another man – believed to have been on an ASIO watch list – and his family were also stopped at Melbourne Airport on Wednesday this week, but were later allowed to travel to Malaysia.
In the past year, the Australian Crime Commission has conducted at least 40 hearings in relation to outbound travellers with connections to Iraq and Syria, The Australian reported.
“These examinations have resulted in an enhanced understanding of Australians likely to travel offshore to engage in conflicts and their travel patterns and financing,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan revealed.
As part of the security clampdown, the Government has deployed new counter-terrorism units at Sydney and Melbourne international airports to monitor and apprehend Australians planning to journey overseas to join the conflicts.
There’s more on that here.
Earlier this month, Tony Abbott announced the Government would introduce legislation to change Australia’s terrorism laws, giving security agencies increased power to deal with home-grown threats.
In mid-August, ASIO director general David Irvine addressed how Australian security agencies were dealing with the changing dynamic in the Middle East and emerging risks at home.
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