Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has described modern-day terrorists as “masters of social media” that are younger and more dangerous than ever before.
During an address to the UN Security Council in New York overnight, Bishop said today’s terrorists “incite each other” in order to spread propaganda and encourage new followers and recruits.
Bishop backed up her claims, highlighting examples such as 17-year-old suicide bomber Adam Dahman from Melbourne, who earlier this year killed himself and 35 others at Syrian military checkpoint.
Bishop laid out guidance which she asserted would help disrupt terrorist organisations financing and facilitation and work towards preventing impressionable youth from joining their ranks.
Using Australia’s tough new anti-terror laws as a foundation for her argument, Bishop advocated methods such as enhancing the government’s ability to track financial transactions of suspected terrorists and organisations, suspending and cancelling the passports of suspected terrorists, lowering the threshold for arrest warrants and the retention of metadata.
The Foreign Minister said every country has an obligation to prevent terrorism and an obligation not to export terrorist capabilities.
“We must starve terrorist organisations of fighters, funding and legitimacy,” Bishop said.
Here’s an excerpt from Bishop’s speech:
For Australia, there is no more pressing matter of national and international security than reducing the threat from terrorism.
The threat from ISIL, or Daesh, al-Nusrah Front and other Al-Qaeda affiliated groups is more dangerous, more global and more diversified than ever before.
Terrorists are younger, more violent, more innovative and highly interconnected. They are masters of social media – to terrorise and to recruit – and are very tech savvy. They incite each other. They communicate their propaganda and violence directly into our homes to recruit disaffected young men and women.
Young people like a 17 year old from Melbourne who grew up in a typical Australian household and played sport for his local high school. Recently, he travelled to Iraq and detonated his explosives vest in a suicide bomb attack in a Baghdad marketplace, injuring more than 90 people.
Young people like the three brothers from Brisbane. One became Australia’s first known suicide bomber, killing himself and 35 others at a military checkpoint in Syria. The second is currently fighting with al-Nusrah. The third was stopped by Australian authorities before he got on a plane to join them.
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