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Oz spy agency head says 'terror threat in country remains real, persistent'.

Canberra, Jan 24 ( ANI ): Australia is experiencing a worrying trend of home-grown terrorism, the head of the country's spy agency has claimed.

David Irvine, Director-General of Security at the ASIO, said that the organisation has observed a number of Australians who are trying to travel overseas to participate in terrorist acts.

"This is not an abstract or an offshore threat. It is real and it is amongst us," The Herald Sun quoted Irvine, as saying.

Irvine said some extremists groups in Australia had conspired to use "mass casualty attacks within Australia's borders" to put their religious views into practice.

He said that a total of 23 people had been convicted of planning terrorist acts, and ASIO had undertaken "several hundred" counter-terrorism investigations.

"In short, the threat of terrorism in Australia remains real and it is persistent," Irvine added.

According to the paper, Irvine also warned against becoming paranoid.

"Let Australians get on with their lives, alert but not paranoid with fear, and let the government get on with the business of providing appropriate security measures and security monitoring - without needing to go overboard," the paper quoted him, as saying.

Irvine pointed out that the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year didn't signify the end of anti-western terrorism.

He said that although there hadn't been a terrorist incident in Australia for many years, it was no excuse to let down the guard. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 24, 2012
Words:250
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