crackdown on terror threat

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    Tony Abbott signals crackdown on borders amid terror threat

    Terror suspects, Mohammad Kiad and Omar al-Kutobi. Source: Supplied
    TONY Abbott has signalled a major crackdown on border control amid growing concerns about the threat of terrorism attacks on Australian soil.
    The Prime Minister, who will deliver a national security statement on Monday week, said the rise of Islamic State had seen new threats emerge, “where any extremist can grab a knife, a flag, a camera phone and a victim and carry out a terror attack”.
    Authorities on Friday confirmed police and a prayer hall were among targets uncovered by investigations into two alleged terrorists arrested in western Sydney last week.
    A number of items were allegedly seized from the home of Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, and Mohammad Kiad, 25, including a machete, hunting knife and homemade Islamic State flag, as well as a video which allegedly shows one of the men vowing to launch an attack in the name of IS.
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    Both men have been charged with terrorism offences.
    Al-Kutobi, from Iraq, is believed to have arrived in Australia in 2009 using another person’s passport, and was given a protection visa before being granted citizenship in 2013.
    Kiad entered Australia in 2012.
    “It’s clear to me, that for too long, we have given those who might be a threat to our country the benefit of the doubt,” Mr Abbott said in a statement on Sunday.
    “There’s been the benefit of the doubt at our borders, the benefit of the doubt for residency, the benefit of the doubt for citizenship and the benefit of the doubt at Centrelink. And in the courts, there has been bail, when clearly there should have been jail.” “We are a free and fair nation. But that doesn’t mean we should let bad people play us for mugs, and all too often they have: Well, that’s going to stop.” Mr Abbott said the government was responding to the terror threat in Australia and abroad.
    He said a review undertaken by state and commonwealth governments into the deadly Lindt cafe siege in Sydney’s Martin Place would be released soon.
    “We are both determined to learn the lessons of this attack and will promptly take any necessary remedial action.”
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