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‘French extremist’ detained at Australian airport

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An Arabian man with French citizenship was detained at Melbourne airport two days after the Paris attacks, allegedly in possession of illegal weapons, counter-terror authorities have claimed.

The man was allegedly carrying three cans of mace, illegal self-defence weapons under Victorian law, and extremist materials in his phone, The Australian exclusively reported on Wednesday.

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He reportedly entered the airport from the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi and was deported the next day on suspicion of being a security threat.

“What I think this case illustrates is the care which the Australian government takes to ensure that everyone that arrives in Australia is subject to appropriate scrutiny,” Attorney-General George Brandis told ABC radio on Wednesday morning.

Tighter screening procedures of EU nationals have been implemented because of that incident and the French attacks, The Australian reported.

The new measures reportedly include increased scrutiny of European passengers by counter-terrorism officers and greater scrutiny of online visa applications.

Officers are reportedly targeting French and Belgian citizens in particular because the Paris attacks of November 13 were planned by terrorists residing in those countries.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), from where the suspect allegedly flew, is not thought to have a high risk of terrorism. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs does not advise extra cautions when travelling in the Middle Eastern coalition of states.

But the UAE is accessible by the residents of many vulnerable Middle Eastern countries, such as Yemen and Iraq.

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