Terrorist Beheading like James Foley Possible in Australia, Tony Abbott Warns

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 22, 2014 10:29 AM EST

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott cautioned that extremist activities like beheading could take place Down Under as well.

REUTERS/Mark Dadswell
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks at a national memorial service for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne August 7, 2014. Australia held a national day of mourning on Thursday for its citizens killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine last month, even as Russia said it was ratcheting up its response to Western sanctions imposed over the disaster.

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Abbott said that the execution of U.S. journalist showed that such terrorist activities could take place in Western countries like Australia as well if the "vigilance against terrorism and potential terrorism" was ignored. According to the Aussie PM, the Islamic State happens to be the "most effective" form of terrorism in history. He said that even Australia could be affected by the actions of the Islamic terrorists.

Abbott called the execution video of Foley as "evil barbarity" while he said that it showed how ruthless the Islamic State militants could possibly be. He used words like "deplorable," "sickening" and "hideous" to describe the Islamic State movement. The video also showed the depravity of the militants, he said.

The Australian prime minister, on the other hand, said that the incident should bring Australians together. "It just strengthens my resolve, and frankly it should strengthen every Australian's resolve to do whatever we humanly can to ensure we never have the slightest hint of this kind of thing here in Australia," he said.

Abbott was speaking on Thursday, Aug 21 when he said that the apparent British identity of the killer in the video was a reminder that the extremist movement had reached the West as well. ''As for the apparent truth that the murderer was a British citizen, it just goes to show that while these events are taking place far from our shores, they can have ramifications right around the world,'' Abbott said, "That's why it's very important we redouble our vigilance and boost our efforts to ensure that our country is safe."

Abbott did not miss the opportunity to advocate terrorism laws in the country that had caused strong disagreement between him and the Muslim leaders in the country. While major Muslim leaders in Australia thought that the law was "unjustified," Abbott said that such laws would "strengthen the powers of our security agencies to make it easier to detain and jail people" involved with terrorist activities overseas. He mentioned that around 60 Australian nationals were still working with the Islamic State.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mark Dadswell / )
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks at a national memorial service for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne August 7, 2014. Australia held a national day of mourning on Thursday for its citizens killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine last month, even as Russia said it was ratcheting up its response to Western sanctions imposed over the disaster.
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