Melbourne: The nature of terrorism is changing and there will be more terror attacks this year as the threat from the radicalised groups and individuals has been underestimated, a leading Australian counter-terrorism expert has said.
"This year is going to be a year of terrorism in the sense that I think we are going to see more small scale attacks," Clarke Jones from Australian National University has warned. Jones said there was a growing concern about violent extremists and the threat of attacks, said Jones who is among a group of global experts working to set up country's first Centre for Intervention and Countering Violent Extremism.
The programs of the centre have been aimed on research and also intervention for young people at risk of becoming radicalised. "Terrorism is changing and over the last 12 months. Where we are today is different from where we were before, we are seeing the nature of terrorism changing," Jones was quoted as saying by the ABC.
"The individual is treated separately because there's not one pathway to radicalisation," he said. "That would involve a social worker, a psychologist, maybe a psychiatrist in some cases - but [it would involve] trying to understand the situation and assess the level of radicalisation and work towards the other way," Jones said.
He said the plan was for individuals to participate in the programs depending on the level of radicalisation, following assessments done by psychologists and other experts. Jones said jailing people was not a solution to the problem and will be counter-productive.
"We can't just lock them away in maximum security prison, that's going to be incredibly ineffective and counter- productive," Jones said. Meanwhile, the Australian Government announced 630 million Aus dollars to help fight home grown terrorism and 13.4 million Aus dollars to specifically counter violent extremism.
"The CVE early intervention program identifies radicalised and at-risk people and delivers a range of tailored services such as mentoring, counselling, education and employment services that will help them turn away from ideologies of violence and hate," Attorney-General George Brandis said in a statement.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has cancelled more than 80 passports and conducted raids across the country in an effort to stop radicalised Australians travelling overseas, or carrying out violent attacks in the country. Some Australians have joined rebel groups, including Islamic State, to fight overseas, the report said.