Australia intends to imprison people who have been fighting for extremist Islamic terrorist group IS abroad.
The Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, makes it perfectly clear that people who are fighting for the Islamic state in Syria or Iraq, and now wants to return to Australia, should not expect a cozy reception.
Abbott's statements came after several media reports that the authorities in Australia is negotiating with three nationals who had joined the Islamic State.
Now they want to go back, but they fear that they end up in prison.
And the fear is not unfounded.
Abbott says that people who have fought side by side with the extremist organizations abroad, will be arrested and jailed if they put their feet on Australian soil again.
Abbott said the full force of the law would apply to anyone who returns, even if they claim to have reformed.
- If you go abroad to break Australian law, if you go abroad to kill innocent people in the name of misguided fundamentalism and extremism, if you go abroad to become an Islamist killer, well, we are hardly going to welcome you back into this country, he said according to AFP.
- Again, I repeat, if you go abroad to join a terrorist group and you seek to come back to Australia, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and jailed, he said.
At least 100 people have left Australia to fight in Iraq or Syria.
And fear of terrorism in Australia is high. The police have conducted several raids against suspected terrorists in recent months.
The Conservative government has chosen a hard line in trying to stop people from becoming radicalized.
According to a law passed last year, it may be punishable by up to ten years imprisonment to travel to, for example, Syria without having a valid reason for the visit.
- The Australian people expect that the country is safe, and someone who has been a terrorist abroad, can very easily become a terrorist in Australia, says Tony Abbott.
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