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  • In Australia only a very small proportion of the population supports the use of violence to try to achieve ideological, religious or political goals

    Only a very small number of individuals in Australia have planned or engaged in violent extremist acts. However, violent extremism remains a threat and it has the potential to affect all Australians by damaging our way of life. It only takes one individual with violent intent to harm many people, both physically and psychologically.

  • More than 110 Australians have been killed in overseas terrorist attacks in the past decade

    Australians have been directly affected by terrorism and violent extremism. We are not immune to these threats, nor should we forget the many Australians who have lost their lives to acts of terrorism, including the 88 people who lost their lives in the Bali bombings on 12 October 2002. Over 200 Australians have also been injured, many seriously, in overseas terrorist attacks.

  • Since 2001, Australian law enforcement and security agencies have foiled four major terrorist plots on Australian soil

    Law enforcement and security agencies in Australia have been successful in detecting and disrupting terrorist attacks before they could occur. In some cases, information provided by the community has been instrumental in preventing attacks that could have caused serious loss of life. While law enforcement will continue to be important, broader strategies including community initiatives are needed to challenge the ideologies and grievances that fuel terrorism in the first place.

  • Not all violent extremists are part of an organised group. Some act alone

    Although many violent extremists are part of international and national extremist organisations, others have acted individually. Examples include Anders Behring Breivik in Norway and Roshonara Choudry in Britain. We need to be vigilant against lone extremists as well as the ideologies that push them to commit violence. For more information see What is violent extremism.

  • Since 2001, 23 individuals have been convicted of terrorism-related offences in Australia

    Australia’s counter-terrorism laws are in place to protect Australians from terrorist violence. The laws apply to everyone equally. Australia has an extensive legislative regime around counter-terrorism, national security and other cross-jurisdictional offences.

  • There is no simple profile of a violent extremist

    Research has shown that, while some violent extremists have come from disadvantaged backgrounds, others are educated and integrated into society. People who join violent extremist groups or engage in acts of violent extremism come from all kind of backgrounds and have various motivations.

  • It is our community and our responsibility

    Australia’s diversity has given rise to a rich culture with a strong commitment to political and personal freedoms, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Regardless of their background or motivation, individuals who are prepared to commit or support violence against the community threaten our shared values. Community initiatives designed to address factors that can lead to violent extremism and help at-risk individuals, can play an important part in strengthening our communities.