A Qantas passenger jet, Melbourne Airport and St Paul’s Cathedral are listed as potential targets in a new Islamic State (IS) propaganda video.
The 20-minute video, titled “The Impenetrable Fortress”, shows a montage of horrific violence like beheadings, corpses and missiles in the Middle East, then a shot of Melbourne’s city.
After footage of bomb blast at a mosque and combat it then shows images of Melbourne Airport, Qantas and St Paul’s.
According to Heavy, an independent news organisation that reports on acts of terror, the video comes from “Wilayat al-Khayr”, a Syria-Iraq border province of the Islamic State, primarily made up of the city Deir Ezzor. The region fell to ISIS in 2014.
Police are aware of the video and said it was similar content to that had previously released by IS.
This follows warnings from a new report by the Global Terrorism Index that says while successful attacks by IS are in decline for the first time in their countries of origin, it creates a new problem for Australia.
“Looking forward, there is rising volatility in South East Asia, driven in part by foreign fighters returning from the Syrian conflict,” the report reads.
“Victorians who have fought with militant groups overseas will pose many challenges should they return home. Approximately 110 Australians are thought to be fighting in the Syrian conflict, many of whom are Victorian.
“Currently, approximately 300 individuals are being monitored by Victoria Police’s Counter Terrorism Command. The majority of these individuals are linked to, or inspired by, the global jihadi movement.”
In September 2014, for the first time, Australia’s National Terrorism Public Alert Level was raised to “high”, indicating that the chance of an attack was likely.
Since then the Australian government has upgraded its terrorism alert system to a new system that means that Australia’s threat level is no longer “high”. It now sits at “probable”.
Under the “probable” level it says: “The public should continue to exercise caution and report any suspicious incidents to the National Security Hotline by calling 1800 1234 00. Life-threatening situations should be reported to the police by calling Triple Zero (000).”
The government lists likely targets as symbols of government and authorities perceived as terrorist adversaries, such as the military, police and security agencies.
“However, indiscriminate attacks are increasing,” it says, “and the risk to the general public in Australia remains”.
Since 2014, there have been three terrorist attacks in Australia and in each case the attacker claimed allegiance to or was inspired by IS.
In those two years, Australian counter-terrorism authorities have disrupted a further 10 terrorist attacks, nine of which involved individuals with some form of allegiance to IS.
In total since 2014, 47 people have been charged as a result of 18 counter-terrorism operations around Australia.
The National Security Hotline is 1800 123 400.
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