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Australia's Special Forces To Be Used During Domestic Terror Attacks

Australia's Special Forces To Be Used During Domestic Terror Attacks

In what we can only assume was an attempt to look Extremely Tough And Competent, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull just announced new counterterrorism-focused defence force powers against a backdrop of mask-wearing, gun-toting, awkwardly posed defence forces personnel.

On Monday, Malcolm Turnbull announced a set of proposed changes to Australia's security laws, which pave the way for an easier army deployment to respond to "terrorist incident".

This includes removing the current limit on states and territories asking for defence force support and specialist military skills until their capability or capacity has been exceeded.

Mr Turnbull emphasised the police would remain the first to deal with terrorism incidents and pointed out that, even in Sydney where the special forces troops are based at the Holsworthy barracks, it could take hours for them to reach a terrorist incident and it would be many hours to reach other cities in Australia.

SPECIAL forces will provide select state and territory police teams with specialised training.

Defence will offer states and territories placement of officers within law enforcement agencies to assist with liaison and engagement.

The main change in the Defence Act will remove a clause that says the military can only be deployed if the relevant state "is not, or is unlikely to be, able to protect itself against the domestic violence".

The military will also be allowed on the streets to support the wider police response, including blocking potential suspects from leaving the scene.

Dissident Liu Xiaobo cremated, China claims his wife is now free
A video about Liu's hospital treatment released on the website of Shenyang's judicial bureau Friday appeared aimed at the same objective.

"We can not afford to take a "set and forget" mentality on national security", Mr Turnbull said.

The measures came months after the prime minister ordered a review of terror response, after it was concluded that police were ill-equipped and too slow in responding to the Lindt cafe siege in Sydney in 2014.

'Our enemies are agile and innovative - we have to stay ahead of them, ' said Mr Turnbull. "We must constantly review and update our responses to the threat of terrorism".

The decision to grant the army greater powers came following a review of security forces' responses to a spate of local and worldwide incidents.

'We need to make sure that the "call-out" powers are appropriate for the current circumstances'.

The proposed changes need parliament's approval.

Former SAS commander-turned federal MP Andrew Hastie has previously said the Sydney siege response demonstrated state police were "not up to the task" of dealing with the unique nature of Islamist terrorism.

Australia's terror threat level remains at "probable", meaning the government has credible intelligence indicating individuals or groups have the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack.


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