The head of Australian intelligence warned of a «real threat» to the country’s security by neo-Nazis.
ASIO CEO Mike Burgess said the “small cells” of right-wing extremists meet regularly to welcome Nazi flags and share their ideology.
In a rare public statement at the headquarters of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Mr. Burgess said the threat from the right is extremely real and growing.
“In the suburbs around Australia, small cells regularly meet to greet Nazi flags, inspect weapons, learn to fight and share their hated ideology,” he said.
He cited the case when the Australian was not allowed to leave the country to fight on an alien battlefield.
Cases such as this were rare at the moment, but “symbolic,” he said.
Two years ago, Australian media received a photograph of the Australian military machine in Afghanistan under the flag of the swastika in 2007, an incident which then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull denounced as “completely unacceptable.”
However, defense sources said the incident was more likely to be a “perverse joke” than genuine right-wing extremism.
With regard to foreign espionage, the head of intelligence said that a number of countries seek to influence politicians, media representatives, business leaders and scientists.
“The level of threat that we face as a result of external espionage and interventions is currently unprecedented. Now it is higher than in the midst of the Cold War, ”he said.
Mr. Burgess’s comments come despite the fact that in 2018 an extensive package of laws was adopted to prevent foreign interference, including espionage.