Entrenched Islamic State ‘caliphate’ in Philippines could bring chemical, suicide attacks to Australian cities

March 19, 2018

There are growing signs that Islamic State cells are preparing for violent insurgencies in southern Philippines to build a prized so-called caliphate on Australia’s backdoor.

The establishment of an entrenched caliphate in the Philippines, at worst, brings the risk of suicide bombers and chemical weapons attacks in Australian cities, a leading Australian expert has warned. Read more

Hackers see democracy as a weakness ripe for exploitation

February 28, 2018

The US Justice Department’s ­indictment of Russian interference in the 2016 US election makes for sobering reading and has direct implications for ­Australia.

Its 37 pages forensically detail the audacious tactics employed by Russia to undermine the electoral processes of a sovereign state, our ally and fellow democracy, raising the question of whether the integrity of our own elections also may be compromised one day. Read more

Journalists don’t grasp extent of foreign spying: ex-intelligence chief

February 11, 2018

The national security establishment believes the media doesn’t appreciate the extent of Chinese, Russian and other nations’ intelligence operations in Australia and wants more press coverage of the problem, according to a former senior intelligence official.

Speaking amid a backlash from media companies and journalists towards tough new laws governing intelligence leaks, Ross Babbage, a former head of strategic analysis at the Office of National Assessments, said security officials did not want to limit press freedoms, which they saw as aiding the fight against foreign spy agencies. Read more

Home Affairs change driven by manifest need.

July 26, 2017

Are Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s changes to Australia’s intelligence and national security arrangements necessary and genuinely transformational, as he claims? Or are they essentially an exercise in political management aimed at burnishing Turnbull’s national security credentials and ensuring the continuing loyalty of his key conservative ally and current Immigration Minister Peter Dutton?
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Getting too close to China could harm Australia

April 3, 2017

The rejection of the extradition treaty with China by an unusually diverse coalition spanning the political spectrum should be a reality check for proponents of closer ties with a country that shares few of our core values. Read more

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2017

March 21, 2017

This yearbook looks at those areas around the world where terrorism and counterterrorism (CT) are in greatest focus. Each chapter examines CT developments in 2016, including the terrorist threat being faced and how governments and others have approached CT through both policy and operations. Read more

Cybersphere is the globe’s new battlefront

April 26, 2016

If the ambitious goals of Malcolm Turnbull’s just released cyber security strategy are achieved, the document could turn out to be the most important and innovative government strategy yet written.

Its great strength is that it provides a clear plan for harnessing Australia’s transitioning economy to the enabling technology of the internet, while recognising that a secure cyber space is critical to exploiting the benefits of the digital age and to protecting our interests online.
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After Paris Attacks, Anxiety Returns to the Surface in New York

November 19, 2015

Article by Ginia Bellafante, New York Times:
“Lydia Khalil, a former counterterrorism analyst for the department, said the division she worked in had only grown more sophisticated since she left in 2009.

Ms. Khalil also pointed out that the Muslim population of the United States is better off and better integrated than the Muslim population of Europe. “The thing about having an American identity is that it doesn’t force you to give up another identity,” she said. “I was born in Egypt, and I can retain an Egyptian identity here while still being an American. It’s very difficult within the European context to reconcile two identities.”
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Australia’s importance as US ally increasing, says professor

March 16, 2015

United States security strategy is changing and how its allies deal with this change raises multiple issues Australia must now consider.

At the recent KPMG/AFR defence and national security roundtable, Alan Dupont, professor of international security at the University of New South Wales, strongly defined the new security challenge for Australia and the US. Read more