Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Global Threat Environment Specialist and Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, says, “Homeland security spending will continue to grow because there is a new global threat landscape that is emerging with the rise of ISIS.
“So governments worldwide will have to invest more resources to fight the new threat landscape which is in fact Al-Qaeda-ISIS hybrid threat.
“Australia should prepare for not only the continual flow of fighters to Syria and Iraq but also a wave of terrorist attacks on Australian soil,” he said. “It is very likely that there will be low and medium-level ¬attacks that will create a very significant impact and will impact the migrant and diaspora communities.”
Professor Gunaratna, says Australia was in urgent need of a deradicalisation program and called on the Australian Federal Police and state police to do far more in engaging with Muslim communities.
He says the federal government should create a “state-of-the-art terrorist prevention program” to deal with those returning from the Middle East and others who had become, or were in danger of becoming, radicalised.
“Although counter-terrorism operations are effective, Australia should invest more in strategic counter-terrorism, to deradicalise those infected by terrorists.”
Professor Gunaratna said custodial and community rehabilitation programs were essential, as was “reaching out to the wives and children” of those involved in terrorism or holding terrorist sympathies, to prevent “regeneration” of terrorist ideologies. “If Australia fails to rehabilitate (terrorists), they will pose a community threat to Australia, they will infect others, and they will be hailed as terrorist icons by their followers.”
Professor Gunaratna will be making the keynote opening address at the upcoming National Security Australia Summit on the 20th – 21st May 2015, at the RACV Club in Melbourne.