A Melbourne man is making money off the back of the heightened presence of the ISIS terrorist movement on Australian soil – by selling Islamic State flags.
Flag trader Rob Boot flew an ISIS flag in his front yard in the city’s south-east suburb of Carrum on Wednesday.
But he told Fairfax Media it’s not because he supports the terrorist group but rather he can make money off it.
“I simply sell the flags, I couldn’t care less what people do with the flags once they buy it,” Boot said.
At 7am on Wednesday morning he flew the ISIS flag and within five minutes a man bought it off him for $40.
It’s not the first time it’s happened either. He sold another about two weeks prior.
“They didn’t say why they wanted it, I think they were just surprised they saw it and they could have it for $40,” Boot said.
“It represents a horrid organisation, I agree … But my flags are not going to motivate someone to go out and commit an atrocity.”
Boot has also stocked and flown Nazi and Klu Klux Klan flags in the past, which he told Fairfax hadn’t gone unnoticed by ASIO and police who had requested he take note of who purchases the items.
“Australia is one of those wonderful countries where you can hang anything, say anything you want as long as you don’t harm anyone,” he said.
After almost 1000 police raided homes throughout Sydney and Brisbane early this morning, arresting 15 terror suspects, Prime Minister Tony Abbott directly linked Australia’s biggest counter terrorism operation to ISIS forces in the Middle East.
Abbott said the alleged activity of these individuals – which he described as “demonstration killings” – had been urged by a senior ISIS figure.
That’s the intelligence we received. The exhortations, quite direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country. So, this is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.
Just last week a Sydney mosque auctioned off a similar ISIS flag for about $2,000, prompting NSW state premier Mike Baird to consider banning the item.
“That is something we will consider and work with community groups about but we can’t have the position where you are seeing any activity that is promoting terrorism, supporting terrorism,” Baird said.
“There is no way in this state that we are going to support that.”
Over the past month hundreds of people have taken to social media, posting videos and photos of themselves burning the ISIS flag along with the #burn ISIS hashtag, nominating the world to join them in protest.
— Apollo Loxias (@Sirius_Bizniz) September 5, 2014
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