- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2015

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott heralded in new, tighter immigration and counterterrorism laws on Monday, saying that the measures are needed in the face of rising Islamic State violence.

Among the new laws: Any Australian found to fight alongside terror groups overseas would see their citizenship revoked or suspended, and their welfare benefits cut.

The new rules also give authorities the ability to monitor and clamp down on “hate preachers” and groups that incite hatred, The Associated Press reported.



The nation’s new strategy comes just a couple months after a cafe in Sydney was hit by Iranian-born, radical cleric Man Monis, who forced his 18 hostages to wave an Islamic flag.

He also demanded authorities send him an Islamic State flag, and ultimately killed two hostages. Authorities also killed him in the ordeal.

A subsequent investigation concluded that intelligence agencies weren’t to blame for failing to detect Monis as a threat, AP reported. Mr. Abbott, meanwhile, said the entire system was to blame, and that tighter counterterrorism regulations were needed.

“It’s clear that in too many instances, the threshold for action was set too high,” he said, AP reported. “We cannot allow bad people to use our good nature against us.”

 

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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