News National Paris-scale attack ‘difficult’ in Australia

Paris-scale attack ‘difficult’ in Australia

Policeman assists a blood-covered victim near the Bataclan concert hall. Photo: AAP
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Justice Minister Michael Keenan says it would be very difficult for terrorists to stage attacks in Australia on the same scale as happened in Paris.

He says he could never rule that in or out and Australians have to be ever vigilant.

“But obviously it would be very difficult to carry out an attack on that scale, with military grade weapons, here in Australia for a whole raft of reasons,” he told Sky News.

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Mr Keenan didn’t go into reasons but security analysts have pointed to France’s open borders, large number of disaffected young Muslims and relatively easy access to military weaponry.

He said the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation had around 400 high priority targets for investigation.

“We have got to be ever-vigilant. We have got to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure that is going to be the case,” he said.

Mr Keenan said he would visit France soon to discuss counter-terrorism.

He said he hadn’t spoken to his counterpart but the Australian government had been liaising with the French government at the highest levels.

“We are very keen to make sure that we can learn whatever lessons we can out of these barbaric Paris attacks,” he said.

Mr Keenan said intelligence sharing with traditional partners such as France was extremely strong and relatively seamless.

But if more could be done, it would, he said.

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