SYDNEY — Australia lowered its terrorism threat level on Monday to “possible” from “probable” for the first time in eight years, citing a decreased threat of assaults from extremists.
The level was raised in 2014, spurred by considerations over the variety of Australians believed to be combating abroad with Islamist militant teams and the chance of terror assaults by these radicalized in Iraq or Syria.
However spy company the Australian Safety Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) mentioned the components prompting the threat level now not existed or solely persevered to a lesser diploma.
“While Australia remains a potential terrorist target, there are fewer extremists with the intention to conduct an attack onshore,” Mike Burgess, its director normal of safety, informed reporters.
The change didn’t imply all terror threats had been extinguished, Mr. Burgess mentioned, nevertheless.
“It remains plausible that someone will die at the hands of a terrorist in Australia within the next 12 months — although, of course, (we) will work around the clock to prevent that,” he added.
Final month, the Labor authorities determined to repatriate 4 Australian ladies and their 13 youngsters from a Syrian refugee camp, resuming a controversial program criticized by the Liberal-Nationwide opposition.
Mr. Burgess mentioned Monday’s choice took into consideration the transfer to repatriate the group, associated to useless or jailed fighters from the militant Islamic State group.
The offshore networks, capabilities and attract of radical Islamic teams have been degraded with their assist in Australia fading although it has not but disappeared, Mr. Burgess mentioned.
“While ASIO considered all these factors when deciding to lower the terrorism threat level, I can almost guarantee it will need to go up again at some point in the future.” — Reuters