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The story of Jake Bilardi (centre) has distorted the characterisation of what most people think of as a radicalised individual. AAP/Twitter

Jake Bilardi’s story shows why terrorist intervention must be tailored

There will be more Jake Bilardis to come, and Australia must realise that no two cases will be entirely the same. Radicalised individuals will come from all areas of society.
When Manal Kassem laid her bridal bouquet at the tribute to the Lindt Cafe siege victims in Sydney, onlookers applauded – no-one cast doubt on her sincerity as a Muslim in the way Tony Abbott’s words have done. AAP/Supplied

Playing the Muslim card: Abbott’s loose lips threaten to sink unity

By casting doubt on the sincerity of Islamic leaders when they condemn terrorism and extremism, the prime minister risks alienating Muslims and dividing instead of uniting the Australian community.
Tony Abbott flies the flag for national security in response to terrorist threats, but what about other, greater challenges? AAP/Lukas Coch

National security debate misses big picture of ‘balanced’ response

Amid debate about expanded national security laws, political leaders have yet to explain why terrorism is a more important threat than other challenges such as climate change or domestic violence.
Tony Abbott’s proposed national security changes have the potential to exacerbate the underlying causes of violent extremism and further damage Australia’s social cohesion. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott’s national security changes are unlikely to make us safer

Australia’s response to terrorism must not be rooted in short-term political gains, but in a larger strategy that takes into account the problems leading to social disaffection.
The Allied bombing of Dresden, which killed 25,000 civilians, during the Second World War is but one example of state terrorism. German Federal Archive

When talking about terrorism, let’s not forget the other kind

To overcome the kind of relativism captured by the cliché “one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter”, we need to define terrorism independently of who is employing it. Here is the definition…
Tony Abbott’s statement to parliament on national security is to come amidst a difficult time for the prime minister. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott’s stoking of terrorist fears may be a political sideshow

Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks set to make a case for further sweeping national security changes in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and arrests. Speaking in advance of a statement to parliament…
The first attack occurred at an arts centre, during a seminar by controversial artist Lars Vilks. STR/EPA

Copenhagen shootings target democracy and pluralism

Two people are dead and five injured – including the suspected perpetrator – in what has been described as a cynical act of terror against Denmark. Though they may have resulted in fewer deaths, the twin…
Security conscious. Behind Boris Johnson’s analysis of terror. BackBoris2012 Campaign Team

Boris’s jihadi ‘wankers’ mark a real shift in western terrorism

Last week, London’s mayor Boris Johnson generated a largely negative reaction when he described European jihadis as “wankers” – people who feel they are failures and that the world is against them. Now…
In response to deeply unpopular drone strikes, a public rally in Karachi demands the blocking of NATO supplies from Pakistan to neighbouring Afghanistan. The banner reads, in Urdu ‘Rulers! Come out of the US war’. EPA/Rehan Khan

To defeat terrorists, we need a new game plan to unite all moderates

I learned a number of lessons about Islam in Peshawar, Pakistan. As a senior United Nations official, I arrived in the country within 24 hours of the massive earthquake that struck in October 2005. Pakistan…
Nasr al-Ansi, AQAP Commander, claims the Paris attacks. EPA/Al-Malahem Media

Al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch adds Paris attacks to list of successes

Al-Qaeda’s most active and notorious branch – the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – has claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. While some questions remain…

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