Australia’s government is pledging to crackdown on radicalisation after two teenage brothers suspected of being ISIL recruits were stopped at Sydney airport.
The pair, aged 16 and 17, had return tickets to an unidentified destination in the Middle East when they were intercepted on Friday. Officials say they were travelling without their parents’ knowledge.
“Too many Australians, it seems, are being brainwashed online by this death
cult, and the two teenagers who tried to go to the Middle East just the other day
and who were stopped through the vigilance of border force are further
examples of the lure of the death cult and it’s important that we do everything we can to crack down on this,” said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Abbott’s government last year committed Australian aircraft and special forces to assist in the battle against ISIL in Iraq, introduced tough new laws on foreign fighters and gave security forces enhanced powers at home.
Australia has been on high alert for attacks since December’s deadly siege in Sydney.
Two hostages were killed when policed stormed a city centre cafe to end a 17-hour stand-off. The gunman, Man Haron Monis, a self-styled sheik seeking to align himself with the Islamic State group, was also killed.
Up to 90 Australians are thought to be in Syria and Iraq, fighting with ISIL militants.