Australians are continuing to head to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State despite the government’s new anti-terror laws.
Attorney-General George Brandis revealed the number of Australian foreign fighters had increased from an estimated 70 last year, to about 90.
Among them were young women and teenagers, seduced by the “false glamour” of war, a new trend Senator Brandis described as worrying.
The parliament last year passed a suite of security laws that among other things made it illegal to travel to a declared area without a legitimate excuse.
“At an earlier time perhaps even six months ago, we were concerned almost entirely about young men, but in a more recent estimate by the national security agencies suggests that a growing number of young women are travelling to participate in that fighting as well,” he told The Guardian.
“More and more teenagers are being enticed and ensnared by Isil recruiters here in Australia with the false glamour of participating in the civil war on behalf of Isil or Da’esh.”