Aussies told 'don't believe the Isis terror hype'

The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, could be a target. Photo / AP
The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, could be a target. Photo / AP

Australian football fans shouldn't be worried about heading to finals games in coming weeks despite the threat of "lone wolf" terrorist attacks.

Federal counter-terrorism assistant minister Michael Keenan says while the security environment is worse than two years ago Australia's security agencies are prepared.

"People need to be assured that our agencies have the capability to protect us and we take appropriate measures to make sure any footy final or any place where a lot of people are gathering do have appropriate protections," he told the Nine Network.

Terror group Isis (Islamic State) is calling for lone wolf attacks on various Australian suburbs and sites including Bondi, Brunswick, the MCG, SCG and the Sydney Opera House.

"Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles. Kill them wherever you find them," it's online newsletter Rumiyah published yesterday says.

Deakin University counter-terrorism expert Greg Barton said Australians needed to put the Isis propaganda into perspective and "not succumb to the hype".

He described it as more a "hopeful Hail Mary gesture" than a real threat.

"If we had (intelligence of) internal communications that were mentioning places like Bankstown ... then you'd start to worry something was afoot," he told ABC radio. "It's not a specific threat. It's not a game changer."

Keenan said Isis, which is under pressure in Syria and Iraq, had an effective propaganda machine to spread its message in western countries.

"Australia is not going to be immune from that," he said.

But changes to counter-terrorism laws give police and intelligence agencies more powers to intervene earlier if they were concerned about the possibility of attacks.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is attending a meeting of south-east Asian leaders in Laos, said the Isis call highlighted the necessity for strong regional co-operation on security.

"Sharing of intelligence is more important than ever before," he told reporters. "But we do have to be very alert to the actions of these lone actors - individuals who ...for a variety of reasons, may be radicalised."


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