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Australia, Oceania Military News from Australia, New Zealand and Tazmania :D

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Old 01-28-2014, 10:30 PM
WABA WABA is offline
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Default 'Australian' jihad recruits fighting in Syria.

News.com.au
Wednesday, 29th January, 2014

National News
Australian jihad recruits fighting in Syria may bring their terror skills home :

MATTHEW BENNS
From: The Daily Telegraph


Rebel fighting turns inward in Syria New video from a social media website appears to show Syrian rebel groups fighting against the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

Nathan Frandino reports.
Reuters
06 Jan 2014

Close up to 120 Australians are fighting in the Syrian civil war, and learning deadly skills which could be used on their return, are being funded by Muslim communities here collecting money for humanitarian aid.

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis also warned yesterday that some fighters could commit terrorist acts in Australia.

"These individuals not only potentially breach Australian laws and commit offences offshore, but upon their return to Australia pose a significant national security risk," he said.

Australians fighting in Syria would gain new skills "including the ability to conduct an attack on Australian soil," he told 200 policing experts from around the world at the Interpol Global Security and Counterterrorism Convention in Sydney.

Australian Federal Police counterterrorism chief Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan confirmed most of the AFP's counterterrorism attention was focused on the 120 Australians known to be fighting or assisting in the fighting in Syria.

A special unit was investigating how the Australians got there. "We are looking at the money," he said. "A lot is being raised in the community with the expectation it is not to fight jihad but for humanitarian aid."

However he said he was sure some of the money was being handed over with a knowing wink to support the fighters.

"The problem for us is when those 120 people come back," Mr Gaughan said. "These people have seen horrific things, been exposed to a more radical form of Islam and they come back with a combat capability.

"International studies show that about one in nine persons who comes back is a concern and can be engaged in hostile activity in their own country.

"The question for us is trying to determine who the one in nine is. We have to monitor all these people and make sure."

Last month the AFP arrested two Sydney men, Hamdi al-Qudsi and Amin Mohammed, whom they allege helped at least five people to travel to Syria.

"The community needs to take some responsibility here," Mr Gaughan said "They need to be telling people that by fighting overseas they are committing a crime."

Meanwhile Facebook pages are filling up with photographs of Australians posing with rifles and tanks on the battlefront.

Yesterday The Australian revealed one of the fighters, Mohammed Ayub, was the son of "jihad sheila" Rabiah Hutchinson and alleged former Jemaah Islamiyah cell leader Abdul Rahim Ayub.

Mr Gaughan said: "We are seeing Australians killed over there. It is not weekend warrior stuff. This is real war and some of them are now dead."

This month Sydney woman Amira Ali became the first Australian woman to die in the war after travelling there to join her husband Yusuf Ali, who was also killed.
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