ASIO rebuffs Hanson over refugee terror links Political Insider: Sign up for our newsletter The head of Australia's top spy agency has rebuffed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson over her fears that refugees were contributing to terrorism.
Despite the growing threat of Islamist extremism, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation boss Duncan Lewis indicated there was no evidence to substantiate several of the minor party leader's claims. Senator Hanson asked the ASIO director general whether he believed the terrorist threat was "being brought in" courtesy of Middle Eastern refugees. "I have absolutely no evidence to suggest there's a connection between refugees and terrorism," Mr Lewis replied. There was also "no evidence" to suggest children born to refugees in Australia were more likely to convert to radical Islam, Mr Lewis said. He indicated to Senator Hanson that ASIO did not have security concerns about Muslim women wearing the full burqa. Senator Hanson began the late night Senate estimates hearing exchange by asking the ASIO chief whether all the perpetrators of four terrorist attacks, and 12 thwarted attacks, in Australia since 2014 were Muslim. Mr Lewis indicated one of the 12 discount burberry mens shirts foiled attacks "involved a right wing extremist". "So the answer is no, they have not all been carried out by Muslims," he said. "But buy burberry bags online I've got to stress, senator this is very important ASIO does not make its inquiries or its assessments on the basis burberry seconds of somebody's religion. "We are only interested in people who are exhibiting or offering violence, and to the extent that there is violent extremism which is very frequently inspired by a warped version of Sunni Islam that's when our interests are invoked." The One Nation leader has been a strident critic of Islam and has called for a ban on Muslim people immigrating to Australia a position rejected by one of her own party colleagues this week. Moments before her interrogation of Mr Lewis on Thursday night, Senator Hanson posted to Facebook: "Remember, there is only one religion across the globe blowing children up and cutting off infidels burberry europe website heads [sic]. That's Islam." Fairfax Media has asked Senator Hanson whether Mr Lewis' testimony had altered her views, but has not yet received a response.
Mr Lewis made clear the overall security environment was "worsening", and said ASIO was dealing with an "unprecedented caseload" in both volume and gravity. The threat to Australia would persist despite the weakening of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, he said. "We assess that well beyond the physical existence of this so called caliphate, the threat of terrorism and the threat of a terrorist attack against Australians and Australian interests will continue," Mr Lewis said.
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