Australia/Israel Review

Terror Australis

May 29, 2015 | Ely Karmon

Terror Australis

Australia in the Eye of the Jihadist Storm


Ely Karmon


Australia is not new to the threat of jihadi terrorism, but the 15-16 December 2014 hostage crisis staged by Man Haron Monis in Sydney shook the Australian people and was followed live across the world. Previous and recent arrests of young would-be Australian jihadists preparing terrorist attacks have only emphasised the growing threat of Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)’s influence in Australia.

Some have compared the December 2014 Sydney hostage crisis with Australia’s first “jihadi attack” 100 years ago, against New Year’s Day picnickers in Broken Hill, NSW. On New Year’s Day, 1915, two Muslim men shot and killed four people and wounded several others before finally being killed by police. Their intention was to die for the faith “in obedience to the Sultan’s order” – following an Ottoman fatwa that declared it was a religious duty “for all the Muslims in all countries, whether young or old, infantry or cavalry, to resort to jihad with all their properties and lives.”

What explains the present sudden surge of ISIS-style jihadist plots in Australia, mainly by “lone-wolf” or small cells of radicalised Muslims?

The al-Qaeda era

This author became acquainted with the Australian jihadi arena as early as 1994, when I read the first interviews by jihadi leaders and ideologues, including Osama bin-Laden, in the Nida’ul Islam magazine online, a “comprehensive, intellectual Islamic magazine” published by the Islamic Youth Movement in Sydney. This monthly journal presaged the modern al-Qaeda and ISIS Internet magazines (Inspire and Dabiq) by publishing discussions about contemporary jihadist military challenges and reflected the views of various Jihad streams amongst the Islamist movements. It was removed from its server in August 2005.(1)

Sam Mullins – an Australian who serves as Professor of Counter-Terrorism at the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies – published an analysis of the development of home-grown Islamist terrorism in Australia up until the end of 2011, before the phenomenon of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq became a global menace. He noted that “jihadi militants have been active in [Australia] since the 1980s.”

According to Mullins’ numbers, from September 2000 until mid-2011 there were 16 confirmed cases involving 36 individuals actively participating in, planning or promoting violent jihad at home or abroad and 27 of these individuals have been convicted in Australia. More important, however, is that the data from that period shows no successful Islamist terrorist attacks within Australia.

Al-Qaeda and its associates were behind most of the failed or foiled terrorist plots in Australia until 2012 while its regional franchise Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) targeted Australian interests mainly abroad, in Indonesia.(2)

JI set up cells in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney beginning in 1996 and built a local infrastructure, a “territorially based command,” under the name Mantiqi IV (one of the four Mantiqis JI established). JI planned to attack the 2000 Olympics and bomb Israeli and Jewish targets. It selected and trained a team under the leadership of its operations chief and leading al-Qaeda operative in South-East Asia, Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali. Jack Roche, a Sydney-based converted British immigrant trained by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, was the local facilitator of the plot, but the plan was rejected by Abdul Rahim Ayub, the group’s Australian leader, for unknown reasons. The team preparing the attack allegedly included an Indonesian national who worked as a taxi-driver in Sydney and an Australian JI member.(3)

In March 2000, police in New Zealand uncovered a possible plot to blow up the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor near Sydney during the Olympic Games. The clandestine cell consisted of about 20 refugees in Auckland, mainly Afghanis, using the relative anonymity and remoteness of New Zealand as a launching pad. There were strong indications that at least some members of the cell had previous military training and had fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya and Somalia. A marked street map and notes on police tactics were found in the possession of an Iranian refugee. Australian and New Zealand officials played down the seriousness of the threat to the research reactor.(4)

Yet it does seem al-Qaeda had an obsession with Australia’s only nuclear reactor.

Willy Brigitte, a French national, converted to Islam in 1998, became radicalised in paramilitary camps in France and trained in weapons’ use in Pakistan. He went to Australia in May 2003 to join a terror group linked to the Pakistani extremists Lashkar e-Toiba. Arrested by Australian authorities, he was found in possession of printed information from a website on locations of possible targets, including the nuclear plant in Sydney, the city’s power grid and various military installations. Brigitte was sent back to France while the leader of the Australian terror cell, Pakistani Faheem Khalid Lodhi, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2006 in connection with the plot.(5)

“Operation Pendennis” was Australia’s longest terrorism investigation, culminating in the arrest of two Islamist cells in late 2005, in Sydney and Melbourne, probably the most serious terrorist structure active on Australian soil. Of the 23 people who had been convicted in Australia for Islamist-related terror offences up to 2014, 18 were arrested in this operation. Moreover, several subsequent terrorism-related investigations in Australia have involved the family, friends and associates of the Pendennis men.(6)

There were indications that the Sydney cell explored the possibility of attacking the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. A man named Taha Abdul-Rahman, who stole a number of rocket launchers from the stockpiles of the Australian Army, sold five of the rocket launchers to Sydney cell leader Mohamed Ali Elomar, who stated an intention to “blow up the nuclear place.” Moreover, three members of the Sydney cell were intercepted within the restricted area surrounding the facility in December 2004.

In Melbourne, nine men were ultimately convicted on a range of terrorism offences. Most of the cell members were new to Islamist militancy, with the exception of one who had trained in al-Qaeda’s al-Faruq camp in Afghanistan in 2001. Abdul Nacer Benbrika, aged 45, of Algerian origin, acted as the leader and religious authority.

In contrast to the Melbourne cell, the Sydney group was far older and more experienced. There were indications that four members of this cell had trained in Lashkar e-Toiba camps in Pakistan between 1999 and 2001. Five of the Sydney men also shared a Lebanese background, while the four others were of Bangladeshi, Bosnian, Jordanian and Anglo-Indonesian background.

The cells, inspired by al-Qaeda, planned to carry out attacks against the Australian Government, motivated primarily by Australia’s participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the Madrid, Jakarta and London attacks as role models.

The relatively high number of individuals from or with links to Lebanon is an interesting feature of the Operation Pendennis suspects and reflects a broader feature of militant Islamism in Australia. Mullins also highlights the prevalence of Lebanese among Australian Islamist terrorists, which is not easily explained demographically, as the Lebanese represent about 9% of the Australian Muslim population. They are therefore over-represented in Islamist terrorism cases. Moreover, Lebanon has not featured heavily in the Sunni “global” jihad (leaving aside the Shi’ite Hezbollah) and few Lebanese have been convicted for terrorism offences in other Western countries.(7)

According to research by Shandon Harris-Hogan and Andrew Zammit of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University, a total of 33 individuals have been prosecuted in Australia for terrorism offences motivated by jihadist ideology. Twenty of these 33 persons have been of Lebanese birth or descent. This includes the majority of those charged with involvement in terrorist plots on Australian soil, and half of those charged with terrorism offences not related to a specific plot. But none appear to have radicalised in Lebanon.

The authors found that Lebanese-Australians played a leadership role in the networks responsible for the radicalisation of jihadists in Australia through intense social dynamics among tight-knit groups of like-minded individuals, and stressed the importance of connections between family and close friends in linking jihadism in Lebanon and Australia.(8)

In August 2009, the counterterrorism “Operation Neath” by Australian security agencies foiled a Somali al-Shabaab-linked plot to infiltrate and attack the Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney. Five men were charged, and three – Wissam Fattal, Saney Edow Aweys and Nayef el-Sayed – were convicted of planning to attack the barracks. They had asked senior al-Shabaab religious figures in Somalia for permission to attack an Australian target, one of the few al-Shabaab plots in the West.(9)

This foiled terrorist attack marks probably the latest al-Qaeda inspired operation against Australia – until the appearance of the ISIS threat in 2012.

The ISIS era

Analysing the jihadist scene in September 2014, Andrew Zammit argued that while “earlier this century, several different jihadist networks in Australia could be linked socially or operationally to a few central figures,” such as Belal Khazaal (sentenced to 12 years jail in 2011 for compiling and editing an online jihadist e-book in 2003) and Abdul Nacer Benbrika (the leader of the “Pendennis” terror cell in Melbourne) the situation has changed. Some of these figures have been imprisoned and others seem no longer relevant or possibly act underground. Thus, “Australia’s jihadist scene is instead becoming more diffuse.”(10)

In 2012, on his blog, Zammit had noted that the most serious jihadist activity occurred in 2003 to 2005, with the 2009 Holsworthy plot being the most significant incident since. 2010 and 2011 were rather quiet years, he pointed out.(11)

The civil war in Syria is clearly the main trigger for the changes in the Australian jihadist arena since 2012.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said on numerous occasions that 60 Australian citizens are fighting with ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) and other groups in Syria and Iraq. Another 20 have returned after fighting in Iraq and Syria, 60 Australians have had their passports cancelled as they were suspected of wanting to go and fight for ISIS or a related group in Syria, while 100 people in Australia are reportedly supporting ISIS through funding or other methods.(12)

The most senior Australian in the ranks of ISIS has been Mohammad Ali Baryalei, from Sydney, of Afghani origin, who travelled to Syria in April 2013 to fight with the al-Qaeda affiliated group JN, before switching sides to ISIS. He is responsible for recruiting dozens of Australians to the frontline in Syria and Iraq. Australian fighters he allegedly recruited include Khaled Sharrouf, Mohamed Elomar, Yusuf Ali, Amira Karroum and Caner Temel. He met some of his future recruited militants through the Street Dawah movement, a volunteer initiative in which Muslims proselytise on the streets of Sydney.(13)

Australian public opinion first began to take serious notice of the issue of Australians travelling to fight in Syria at the start of 2014, when the young couple Yusuf Ali (also known as converted Tyler Casey), 22, and his wife Amira Karroum, 22, were murdered side-by-side in Aleppo, Syria, after becoming radicalised in Sydney. They died in the ranks of JN during a violent fight with ISIS forces. It was later discovered that Baryalei was involved in the couple’s move to Syria.

Khaled Sharrouf and boxer Mohamed Elomar, from Sydney, became the most infamous Australians acting in ISIS’s ranks in Syria. Sharrouf was a member of the Pendennis terrorist cell who spent time in jail for his part in the 2005 foiled plot, while Elomar had relatives jailed for that plot. They travelled to Syria in late 2013 where they joined ISIS forces fighting as commanders in Syria and Iraq. Both posted graphic images of severed heads, machine guns and dead bodies and religious quotes on Twitter to appeal to the younger generation. The most shocking piece of propaganda was posted by Sharrouf of his seven-year-old son posing with a decapitated head.

Sharrouf was followed by his convert wife Tara Nettleton who brought their five children to Syria with her. Fatima Elomar was stopped at Sydney Airport in May 2014 when she tried to board an international flight with her children in an alleged attempt to join her husband in Syria. She has been charged with “preparing for incursions into a foreign state with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.”

Police suspect the Sydney-based Bisotel Rieh money transfer company, owned by the family of Sharrouf, may have been used to send more than $200,000 to ISIS and it was shut down by money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC.

Mohamed Elomar’s uncle, also named Mohamed, was one of 18 people jailed for the Pendennis plot, while his brother Ahmed was jailed in 2014 for attacking a police officer during the September 2012 Hyde Park riots in Sydney protesting against the American anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims”.(14)

In July 2014, following the uproar produced by the tweets and gruesome photos posted by the two now notorious jihadists, Director General of Security and ASIO chief David Irvine declared that some tens of people had already returned from fighting in the Middle East and another 150 in Australia had inclinations to support extremist movements.

And then, in a series of massive raids in suburban areas in Sydney and Brisbane, 15 people were detained on September 18, 2014 in a joint operation between ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and local police, prompted by signs that militant Islamists were planning “demonstration executions”. Many of the men detained during the raids knew each other through the Sydney Street Dawah movement. The group had no official leader but Mohammad Baryalei became its unofficial leader because he was very influential and charismatic.

Omarjan Azari, 22, was charged with preparing a terrorist attack in Sydney, allegedly suggested by Baryalei, with whom he was in regular phone contact, and meant to “shock” and “horrify” the community with a public beheading.(15) It was also alleged that an attack was planned in Brisbane, where a member of government was to be beheaded. Agim Kruezi, 21, was arrested in the raids and reportedly had connections to Azari. Omar Succarieh, 32, was charged with providing funds to JN.

Days later, on September 23, Numan Haider, 18, was shot dead by police outside a police station in Melbourne’s south east, when he stabbed two officers with knives during an interview. Haider was the focus of the anti-terrorism task force before his death, and it has been reported he was becoming increasingly frustrated after having his passport cancelled. Haider’s alleged plan was to follow instructions from ISIS to behead the officers, cover the bodies in the flag of Islamic State and take photos to post on the internet.(16)

Then, in the eyes of millions of people around the world, Australia became a symbol of the ISIS global threat when on the morning of December 15, 2014 a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, took 18 hostages in the Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place in downtown Sydney, practically paralysing the centre of the metropolis. The televised saga ended after a 16-hour siege in which two people were killed. Monis was also killed in the police assault.

Monis, a troubled 50-year-old man of Iranian origin on the fringes of the city’s Muslim community, presented himself as a Shi’ite cleric converted to Sunnism and a peace activist. There is no information connecting Monis with ISIS previous to the attack although he used an improvised flag of the organisation to proclaim his allegiance to the group. However, he had an extensive record of prosecutions and criminal convictions in Australia for use of the postal service to “menace, harass or cause offence” in a campaign protesting the presence of Australian troops in Afghanistan. Three days before the siege, Monis lost his appeal in the High Court of Australia against his conviction for criminal use of the postal service.(17)

In the foreword of the sixth issue of its English magazine Dabiq, ISIS described how Monis “brought terror to the entire nation” and called upon others to copy his “daring raid.” Monis’ actions are framed as redemptive, cleansing him of a past that included fraud, accessory to murder and numerous sexual assaults. “Any allegations leveled against a person concerning their past are irrelevant as long as they hope for Allah’s mercy and sincerely repent from any previous misguidance,” the article says. He is also praised for his conversion to Sunnism: “I used to be a Rafidi, but not anymore. Now I am a Muslim, alhamdulillah.”(18)

“There will be others who follow the examples set by Man Haron Monis and Numan Haider in Australia, Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in Canada, Zale Thompson in America, and Bertrand Nzohabonayo in France, and all that the West will be able to do is to anxiously await the next round of slaughter and then issue the same tired, cliché statements in condemnation of it when it occurs,” the Dabiq article threatened.

Monis was also mentioned discretely in a short note in the 13th issue of Inspire, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)’s magazine, released on December 24, 2014, which claimed the gunman was driven to take hostages after his “peaceful protests” failed. The magazine includes several sections highlighting the actions of al-Qaeda members and individuals whom it claims undertook violent actions on behalf of its cause. “The Lions of Allah who are all over the globe – some call them lone wolves – should know that they are the West’s worst nightmare,” states the article.(19)

In the aftermath of the Monis affair, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop declared during a visit to Iran in mid April that Australia and Iran have agreed to share intelligence about Australians fighting in Iraq to help both countries “in their efforts in the war against ISIS.” The Foreign Minister said that the agreement with Iran would be of assistance in the war on terror because she believes that Iran has the information that the Australians are looking for, and is willing to share it with them.(20)

Is it not strange that a regime which together with its proxy Hezbollah is behind global terrorist attacks, including in regional partner states as close to Australia as India, Thailand and Indonesia, is considered a trustworthy partner? The Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, is a main suspect in the July 18, 2012 bombing of a group of Israeli tourists at the Burgas airport, Bulgaria by Hezbollah. The Australian authorities are probably well aware that Pandu Yudhawinata, an Indonesian Hezbollah operative recruited by Iranian intelligence, arrested in 1999 in the Philippines, had recruited a small number of Malaysians and Indonesians and sent them to Lebanon for training in order to carry out terrorist attacks in Australia, Southeast Asia and in Israel.

The latest terrorist plots in Australia involved very young men.

On April 18, 2015, Victoria Police launched “Operation Rising” with 200 officers involved in seven simultaneous raids arresting five young men accused of plotting to bring terror to the streets of Melbourne during Anzac Day centenary commemorations. Major public events were due on April 25 across Australia to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the landings of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in Turkey, during World War I.

Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 18, Eathan Oswald Almo Cruse, 19, Harun Causevic, 18, Ismail Safi, 19, and Mehran Azami, 18, planned to attack police and the public with swords and knives. The five planned to seek revenge for the death of Numan Haider last September. They attended the al-Furqan Islamic Information Centre in Springvale South where Haider is believed to have been radicalised.(21)

Australian authorities were investigating links between the most senior Australian still serving with the Islamic State terror group, Neil Prakash, and the Melbourne teenagers. Prakash, 23, of Fijian-Indian and Cambodian background, is an Islamic convert and travelled to Syria in early 2013, where he took the nom de guerre Abu Khalid al Cambodi. He is now the chief recruiter of Australians for ISIS, filling the void left by the death of Mohammad Ali Baryalei in Syria last October.(22)

Days later, the al-Furqan Centre closed down, blaming “harassment.”

Latest, but probably not last, a Melbourne teenager was arrested on May 9 when police seized three improvised explosive devices from his home. Police believe the young man intended to explode the devices at one or more events on Mother’s Day, May 10. Authorities had not established any connection between the teenager and “any other person”, but said they would continue to explore the possibility that he had been radicalised by overseas recruiters. It is understood the latest plan was not linked to those allegedly involved in the ANZAC Day plot.(23)

Australia and ISIS’ “Far Abroad” strategy

In his recent analysis of the Australian jihadi phenomenon, days before the latest April arrests in Melbourne, Andrew Zammit, a leading researcher of this topic, remarks that “Australia was fortunate that the destination countries for Australian jihadists during the 2000s, namely Lebanon and Somalia, were somewhat peripheral to the global jihad,” but the Syria-Iraq mobilisation has changed this.(24)

Zammit notes that the large number of Australians involved with groups such as ISIS and JN greatly exceeds any of Australia’s earlier jihadist mobilisations. Although this raises well-founded fears of an increased threat at home, Zammit evaluates that “the foreign fighter threat to Australia may not turn out to be as great as feared,” as neither JN nor ISIS appear to have made attacks in the West as high a strategic priority as al-Qaeda’s senior leadership did in its time. A range of factors will determine the threat, including Australia’s response, he concludes.

Yet ISIS does consider attacks in the West, what Harleen Gambhir of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) calls the “Far Abroad” ring for the organisation, part of its overall strategy to achieve its goals.(25)

The “Inner Ring” is where ISIS focuses its main effort to defend the core lands of its so-called Caliphate: the governorates, or wilayas, in Algeria, Libya, the Sinai, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Khorasan (Afghanistan-Pakistan). ISIS claims to communicate with its leaders in each of these areas, approve operational concepts and funnels them strategic resources and military training.

The “Near Abroad” ring is comprised of lands stretching from Morocco in the West to Pakistan in the East, where ISIS is attempting to expand its influence to offset losses in its interior.

The “Far Abroad” ring encompasses the wider world: Europe, the United States, Southeast Asia, and cyberspace, where ISIS is attempting to foment a broader war. ISW assesses that ISIS will deliberately seek to expand its activities in the Near and Far Abroad rings to offset the risks of losing terrain in the Interior ring, particularly in Iraq. ISIS encourages attacks in the Far Abroad in order to provoke Western governments and societies into targeting and alienating Muslim communities and thus drive Muslims towards ISIS.

This author would argue that, paradoxically, the more ISIS is squeezed in Iraq and Syria and defeated militarily by the broad ad-hoc coalition gathered against it, the more foreign fighters, who for the moment serve mainly as cannon fodder, will be compelled to return home or immigrate to more hospitable lands. They will congregate with older al-Qaeda and ISIS support networks and radicalised individuals in local Muslim communities and enhance the threat of lone-wolf or small cells attacks.

Since January 2015 this trend has began to materialise: the January 2015 attacks against the Charlie Hebdo’s offices and the Jewish kosher grocery store in Paris; pre-emptive raids by Belgian police in the town of Verviers against a group suspected of preparing a major attack ending with two ISIS jihadists killed; the attacks in February against both a public event called “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” and a synagogue in Copenhagen; arrests of nine people in Barcelona and Tarragona, Spain, suspected of links to ISIS, in April; various police operations in Malaysia in April, leading to the arrests of 95 individuals with links to ISIS, many with a clean record who flew under the radar of security officials, some suspected of plotting attacks on strategic targets and governmental interests around the Klang Valley.

The arrests in April and May 2015 of the young would-be terrorists in Melbourne are part of the same trend and foreshadow bad news for the near future as the number of Australians in Syria and Iraq is relatively high and conditions back home could be favorable for attacks.

It should be noted that ISIS invests few resources and operational efforts in most of these attacks – apart from a very effective and targeted propaganda on the Internet amplified by the mainstream media, which is sometimes hypnotised by the gruesome events and thus serves as a resonance chamber. The Monis hostage situation in December 2014 is a good example of such a success.

Furthermore, if the situation in Lebanon deteriorates even further and the Sunni jihadists challenge the Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army on a daily basis, the “Lebanese” effect could again play a greater role in Australia and revive the old local networks and family links in spite of the arrests of recent years.

Events involving Australian policies such as the fight against illegal immigration, racist attacks against Muslims, crises in relations with Indonesia or military forces deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, could also trigger terrorist attacks on Australian soil and serve ISIS or al-Qaeda propaganda.

Finally, there is a fierce competition between ISIS under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and al-Qaeda under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri for the hearts and minds of jihadists worldwide.(26)

Ayman al-Zawahiri announced, on September 4, 2014, the establishment of a new affiliate group “Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent” (AQIS). He also challenged the legitimacy of al-Baghdadi’s claim to the title of caliph by clarifying that the new jihadi organisation will work under the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, whose Emir is the “commander of the faithful” Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban leader. AQIS allegedly covers jihadist activities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and India’s states of Assam, Gujarat and Kashmir.

Interestingly there is no mention of who is responsible for Indonesia or Australia, territories where al-Qaeda and its associates were active in the past, as mentioned above.

Competition between the two jihadist organisations has clearly emerged as playing a role in the case of the attacks in France. AQAP claimed responsibility for the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices, following the declaration of the two brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi to the local media. But Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a policewoman and four people in the Hyper-Cacher Parisian kosher grocery store, pledged allegiance to the ISIS in a video published online two days after his death. Only a month later did ISIS refer to Coulibaly’s terrorist operation in its English language magazine Dabiq, where “Basir al-Ifriqi” (Coulibaly) is presented as a “brave mujahid” who had given his bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to the Khilafah [Caliphate] beforehand.

In May 2012, Australia was mentioned for the first time (among several other countries) in the AQAP magazine Inspire, as both a target and as an example of the damage bushfires have caused and instructions were provided on how to start such bushfires.

But while Dabiq gave significant coverage to Man Haron Monis’ hostage operation, Inspire gave it a very low-key attention.

It remains to be seen if al-Qaeda or AQIS will try in the future to challenge ISIS in Australia by reviving the old networks or recruiting a new generation of jihadists.

Dr. Ely Karmon is Senior Research Scholar at The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at The Interdisciplinary Centre (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel.



1. Jarret M. Brachman, Global Jihadism: Theory and Practice (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 123-4.

2. The devastating attack on a Balinese nightclub on October 12, 2002, in which some 202 people (mainly Australian tourists) were killed, Al-Qaeda’s second most deadly after the September 11, 2001, was a wake-up call to governments in the region.

3. For a in-depth analysis of JI activities in Australia see Shandon Harris-Hogana and Andrew Zammit, “Mantiqi IV: Al-Qaeda’s Failed Co-Optation of a Jemaah Islamiyah Support Network,” Democracy and Security, Vol. 10, Issue 4, 2014, pp. 315-334.

4. Ely Karmon, “Olympic Bomb Plot to Blow up Sydney Nuclear Reactor Foiled: How Serious the Threat,” ICT website, June 18, 2000, at

5. Willy Brigitte received a nine-year prison sentence in 2007 from a Paris court for plotting the attacks in Australia: Global Security Newswire, “Terror Plotter Receives Nine-Year Prison Sentence,” March 16, 2007, at Brigitte was detained again in March 2012 with other 17 Islamist radicals in a swap around France, suspected of preparing a kidnapping: Nicolas Bertin and Thierry Lévêque, “Militant who targeted Australian nuke plant held in France,” Reuters, March 31, 2012.

6. Bart Schuurman, Shandon Harris-Hogan, Andrew Zammit and Pete Lentini, “Operation Pendennis: A Case Study of an Australian Terrorist Plot,” Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol 8, No 4 (2014), at

7.Sam Mullins, Australian Jihad: Radicalisation and Counter-Terrorism.

8. Shandon Harris-Hogan and Andrew Zammit, “The Unseen Terrorist Connection: Exploring Jihadist Links Between Lebanon and Australia,” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 26, Issue 3, January 2014, pp. 449-469.

9. Andrew Zammit, “The Holsworthy Barracks Plot: A Case Study of an Al-Shabab Support Network in Australia,” CTC Sentinel , June 21, 2012.

10. “Australia’s jihadist scene has been very small and terror experts are trying to connect the dots to most recent alleged plot,”, September 14, 2014 at

11. Andrew Zammit, “Australian jihadism at the end of 2012,” The Murphy Raid blog, December 22, 2012, at

12. Jenni Ryall, “Why the Threat of ISIS Suddenly Feels Very Real in Australia,” Mashable, September 26, 2014.

13. Rachel Olding, “Australian Islamic State kingpin Mohammad Ali Baryalei dead: reports,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 29, 2014, at


15. Jenni Ryall, “Why the Threat of ISIS Suddenly Feels Very Real in Australia,” Mashable website, September 26, 2014, at



18. Dabiq, 6th issue, at

19. Inspire, 13th issue, at

20. BBC, April 20, 2015.




24. Andrew Zammit, “Australian foreign fighters: Risks and responses,” Analysis, Lowy Institute for International Policy, 16 April 2015, at

25. Harleen Gambhir, ISIS Global Intelligence Summary March 1 – May 7, 2015, The Institute for the Study of War, at

26. Ely Karmon, “Islamic State and al-Qaeda Competing for Hearts & Minds,” Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol 9, No 2 (2015), at



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