The government will do everything it can to ensure Australians don’t become radicalised overseas and bring their extremist views back home, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.
Her comments came after it was reported that an Australian convert to Islam who has previously urged Muslims to join “jihad” in Syria and Iraq had been arrested in the Philippines.
Melbourne man Robert Edward “Musa” Cerantonio, 29, faces deportation to Australia.
He was reportedly arrested at the request of the Australian government after footage on his website showed him calling on Muslims to join the war in Iraq and Syria.
Ms Bishop refused to comment specifically about Cerantonio to avoid jeopardising the work of Philippine authorities.
But she said reports of Australian citizens getting involved with radicals and fighting overseas were disturbing.
“We are determined to ensure that Australians do not leave this country to take up fighting in another country, become radicalised and then return to Australia with these new skills and extremist outlooks,” she told reporters in Brisbane.
“We are taking every step we can to ensure that Australians are kept safe.”
Cerantonio has been detained in the central Philippine city of Cebu where regional police commander Prudencio Banas claimed he would be deported as an illegal alien after Canberra cancelled his passport.
Mr Banas said there “no evidence linking him to any terror act”.