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ASIO is back in town naming our biggest threats - violent Islamists - also highlights dangers in making Syria an issue here

Senator the Honourable George Brandis QC has tabled the publicly available version of ASIO's annual report - ASIO Report to Parliament.

Senator Brandis's public statement is here.

ASIO-Report-to-Parliament-2012-13_001

Good to see the previously shameful and divisive Australian flag making a come-back.  It looks almost Cronulla-beach-apparel style rather than at the top of the flag pole and out of harm's way.

The fact ASIO feels able to display an unmolested Australian flag without also showing a burnt and wee-soaked one for multi-cultural balance has to be a good thing.  But there's cause for even more joy as a result of ASIO's direct language.   ASIO spells it out here:

 

This year ASIO:

 

  • investigated several hundred mostly Australia-based individuals who are advocates of a violent Islamist ideology;
  • managed the security threat posed by individuals working with al-Qa‘ida affiliated groups;
  • worked closely with partner agencies to identify and mitigate the threat to the security of government information from the 'trusted insider';
  • degraded the harmful activities of foreign intelligence officers working in Australia against Australian interests;
  • provided Australian Government agencies with intelligence on people smugglers to support surveillance, interdiction and disruption activities;
  • developed a new cyber defence and cyber protection capability;
  • was nominated for a Comcare award based on improvements in return-to-work outcomes and a significant reduction in time off work; and
  • implemented the ASIO strategic plan 2013–16 to capitalise on the achievements under the previous plan and to best place ASIO to respond to emerging threats to security.

 

Throughout 2012–13, Australia’s security environment continued to evolve, with the terrorism threat posed by traditional extremist networks and groups being compounded by the threat from self-radicalising lone actors.

The Syrian conflict has resonated strongly in Australia and is likely to have a lasting impact on Australia’s security environment for the foreseeable future.

The scale and sophistication of cyber espionage conducted against Australian Government and private sector systems has increased significantly over the reporting period, requiring a resolute response from ASIO and national security partners.

The Attorney-General has welcomed the report in a media release, saying "the report demonstrates clearly why Australia continues to need an organisation dedicated to countering individuals and groups who threaten our security".

ENDS

ASIO says

The Syrian conflict has resonated strongly in Australia and is likely to have a lasting impact on Australia’s security environment for the foreseeable future.

I think the message is pretty clear.  A Syrian conflict that resonates strongly in Australia is bad.   Anything to reduce the Syria-resonation here is good.   Anything to increase it is not. 

Pre-wired empty-headed automatons who were born in the Middle-East might have some claim to caring about who wins.  For the rest of us, do as ASIO suggests and stop thinking about it.

The ABC in particular has form for resonating Syria here.   It held a 3-hour Syria-thon on its local radio networks a couple of weeks ago.   Heaps of Muslims heard the call to resonate and did - funny thing with Jihad, everyone who does it thinks their Jihad is the correct one and should be applied to kill competitor Jihadis vying for Allah's approval.   The ABC dutifully resonated solely about Syria for 3 hours with equal time, no doubt, for every murderous participant group.

(On the day of judgement, the Lord will reveal why Australia's public broadcaster brought the Syria conflict to Australian audiences live for 3 on that Sunday arvo.  Until then assume it's because the ABC thinks it will irritate conservatives more than Ramona Koval used to.)

Bob Carr has been a bit of a Syria-Resonator-in-Chief, whacking in a media appearance to kick the resonation along whenever possible.  Thankfully he's gone and I think Julie Bishop's pretty right for getting involved in Syria conflict stuff just now.   So here's the request to Middle-Eastern opinion-holders and sundry Syria-resonators.   Please listen to ASIO and give the Syria crap a break.   And if you can't leave it alone, just succumb to the joyous temptation and go get immersed in the full-on Jihadi experience.

We'll be glad you did.

 

 

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