The cafe siege in Sydney comes as no surprise after Islamic State urged followers to attack Australia and its allies, terror experts say.
Monday’s siege in Martin Place comes three months after Australia’s first incident when a knife-wielding man was shot dead after attacking two Victorian police.
Curtin University’s Dr Anne Aly, a researcher on counter-terrorism, told The New Daily that the “current wave” of opportunistic terror sweeping Australia and the world is “new”, and that more attacks can “absolutely” be expected.
The “incredible emotional appeal” of jihadist propaganda will continue to motivate low-tech, “lone wolf” attacks unless Western societies can develop a powerful enough “counter-narrative”, she said.
“This shows how effective the propaganda of the global jihadist movement and the Islamic State, just how effective it is if it can motivate individuals to conduct opportunistic acts of violence,” Dr Aly said.
Monash University terrorism expert Professor Greg Barton previously warned The New Daily‘s readers that Australia and the world must brace for “a wave” of solo terror attacks in the wake of a lone gunman’s attack on the Canadian parliament in October.
“We have to assume that this is the beginning of a wave of similar attacks around the world, including in Australia,” Professor Barton said.
A black and white flag, which appeared to be emblazoned with an Islamic declaration of faith, was pressed against a window of the Sydney cafe where a single gunman held hostages, two of whom lost their lives early on Tuesday morning.
Scott Stewart, security analyst for US intelligence group Stratfor, said he was surprised there had not been more such attacks given repeated calls by jihadist leaders and the ease with which such attacks can be carried out.
ISIL spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani in September called on his followers to launch small-scale attacks in nations allied against the terror group — US, UK, France, Germany and Australia.
Australian National University’s Dr Clarke Jones, an expert in terrorism and radicalisation, told The New Daily previously that Australia is becoming a bigger target the more it supports the US, the more it gets involved in overseas conflicts, and the more its Muslim community feels marginalised by government policy.
“I know there are ongoing community engagement programs, but I wonder, have we done enough? I suggest we haven’t if we’re starting to see major raids and significant numbers of supporters of IS in Australia,” Dr Jones said.