The Australian government is mulling over raising the country’s terrorism threat level to the second highest stage within days as a measure to tackle the growing homegrown danger posed by the supporters of Takfiri ISIL militants operating inside Iraq and Syria.
In an interview with public broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corporation late on Tuesday, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) Director General David Irvine said the terrorist threat level could be elevated from “medium” to “high.”
“It’s something that we in ASIO are actively considering. I would say that at the moment, it is at a very elevated level of medium and I’m certainly contemplating very seriously the notion of lifting it higher,” Irvine said.
He further noted that raising the threat level would mean that a terrorist attack on Australian soil is likely.
Irvine said the Canberra government is concerned about the ISIL influence on young Australians both in terms of encouraging them to travel to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside the Takfiris, and also provoking them to launch an attack inside Australia.
On August 26, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government will spend 64 million Australian dollars (74 million US dollars) on measures to counter violent extremism and radicalization.
He said some 60 Australians are fighting alongside the ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria, while another 100 are actively working to support the terrorist movement at home. Fifteen Australian nationals have also been killed, including two young bombers.
The ISIL terrorists are in control of some areas in Syria and have captured large swathes of land in neighboring Iraq.
They are notorious for carrying out horrific acts of violence in the areas they have taken, including the mass execution of civilians as well as including public decapitations and crucifixions.
The Iraqi and Syrian government forces are engaged in fierce battles with the ISIL militants to push them out of the captured areas.