A Defence department memo warns that uniformed Aussie troops run the risk of Lee Rigby style attacks.
An official warning was apparently issued by the Australian Defence ministry as it is feared Aussie troops could become the victims of attacks by Muslim extremists. The memo was issued following the weekend abuse of an Australian soldier in down town Sydney and as Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the deployment of 600 military personnel to take on the ISIS jihadist group in the Middle East and after raising the domestic terror alert level to ‘high’.
The memo, cited by The Sunday Telegraph and titled ‘Security Intelligence Report’, details the verbal threats made against a uniformed member of the Australian Defence Force. The soldier was approached by a group of young men, verbally abused and told to go to the Middle East “so we can blow you F…ing head off you c.t”.
The incident took place in broad daylight in a busy Sydney street and was witnessed by a number of people. The soldier left the scene without further confrontation.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Australian intelligence agencies have already identified that soldiers in the country could be at risk of violent and deadly attacks like that suffered by Lee Rigby, a British soldier who was over-run with a car, murdered and almost decapitated by Muslim extremist on a London street last year.
“The Defence Security Authority assesses that this incident of anti-Defence sentiment is related to Defence’s current and possible future operations in the Middle East,” the memo states.
“A further escalation of anti-Defence sentiment in Australia cannot be discounted.
“During the initial deployment of Australian troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, the DSA received an increase in reported threats of verbal abuse. This verbal abuse was from individuals who rejected Australian troops’ deployment to the Middle East.
“On 22 May 2013 Drummer Lee Rigby, a serving British soldier was run down by a vehicle and then hacked to death outside Woolwich Army Barracks in London.
“The attackers remained at the scene encouraging onlookers to film the aftermath — one claiming the attack was in response to British soldiers killing Muslims overseas and stating the British public would not be safe as long as it supported military deployments on Muslim lands.’’
The report continues to warn for the need to be vigilant and that service personnel should report incidents of abuse.
However, Australia’s intelligence agencies have said it is not just organized extremist groups that pose a threat and similar to the Rigby case, opportunistic vigilante attacks are also a real concern.
The report underlined three major risks outlined by the intelligence chiefs – they include: opportunistic ‘lone-wolf’ vigilante style attacks such as the Rigby case, the storming of a major shopping centre or building or a mass casualty event.