In his first national security statement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday introduced a new five-tier terror alert system, in a move “to be as open and transparent with Australians as possible about both the threat and what everyone can do to help.”
Details of the new levels are expected to be announced in the coming days, but a system proposed earlier this year had them at: not expected, possible, probable, expected and certain.
Right now, Australia is on “high” alert, and has been since September 2014, which means an attack is likely. Since then, 26 people have been charged as a result of 10 counter terrorism operations.
My highest duty, and that of my government, is to keep Australians safe. Today, I presented a National Security Statement to the Parliament.You can read my full statement at http://aus.pm/mt3t
Posted by Malcolm Turnbull on Monday, 23 November 2015
Turnbull reminded the public what, frustratingly, it should not need reminding: that Muslims are not terrorists, and ISIL is not representative of Islam.
“ISIL aims to overthrow all the existing governments in Muslim societies, and beyond. It regards as apostates any who will not submit to its own perverted view of Islam.
“Strategically, ISIL wants to create division by fomenting resentment between non-Muslim populations and Muslims.”
It’s very much at odds with former PM Tony Abbott‘s address to the public on terrorism back in February this year, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, for which ISIS took credit.
“No one should live in our country while denying out values and rejecting the very idea of a free and open society.
“I’ve often heard Western leaders describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace’. I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it.”
Yesterday, Turnbull also took what seemed to be a veiled swipe at his predecessor, saying that “this is not the time for gestures of machismo. Calm, clinical, professional, effective. That’s how we defeat this menace.”