The Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, David Irvine, has addressed the National Press Club on the threats posed by espionage and terrorism.
Irvine maintained that the threats to Australia are real, but manageable with vigilance and updated intelligence capabilities. He defended the need for a security service, “governed by law with appropriate safeguards”, and argued against any revamping of the existing regime of checks and balances on ASIO.
He said 15 Australians are believed to have died fighting in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Around 100 people are believed to be involved in supporting terrorist activity in Australia.
Irvine stressed “that the tiny number of violent extremists, who nevertheless can make a rather big bang, does not represent the Islamic communities of Australia… We’re talking about a few hundred aberrant souls in the community of half a million Muslims and it is grossly unfair to blame Australian Muslims who see themselves as a committed component of Australia’s multicultural society.” [Read more...]