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Australia to tighten anti-terror laws over ISIL threats

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The Australian government is planning to introduce new anti-terror legislation in parliament after allegedly foiling a plot by militants linked to the ISIL in the country.

Attorney-General George Brandis said on Saturday that the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill is due to go before the Senate on Wednesday.

“The government has gone about this task of re-writing Australia’s national security legislation for the first time in a generation…to ensure that the agencies have all the powers that they need to keep Australians safe without in anyway diminishing the oversight by parliament and…without in anyway diminishing protections,” he added.

According to Australian media reports, under the new legislation, advocating a terrorist act would become illegal and the offence would carry a maximum five-year jail sentence.

The legislation would also make it illegal for an individual to deliberately counsel, promote, encourage or urge a terrorist act while police would also be granted powers to secretly search the homes of suspects.

Canberra would be also authorized to ban visits to cities or regions where terror groups are active. Those who travel to such areas without a valid reason could face prosecution.

On Thursday, hundreds of police officers raided dozens of locations in the country’s most populous city of Sydney as well as the eastern city of Brisbane.

Fifteen people were arrested during the raids, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying that they had been plotting to carry out gruesome “demonstration executions” that could have taken place within days.

Canberra believes up to 60 Australians are fighting alongside the ISIL Takfiris, while another 100 are actively working to back the terrorist group in Australia.


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