Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday that his country will have to operate certain freedoms in the name of security.
His government will try to get broad powers to combat the growing threat of Islamic extremism, he told parliament.
“My unequivocal message to all Australians fighting alongside terrorist groups is that they will be arrested, tried and jailed for a long time, and that our laws are changing to make it easier to keep would-be terrorists off our streets,” Abbott said.
“Unfortunately, for some time the delicate balance between freedom and security will have to be reversed.”
“There will be more restrictions for some so there may be more protection for others,” he added.
He announced a series of new laws for this week, which will create new figures for terrorist crimes and extend powers to monitor or detain suspects.
One will criminalize travel to certain conflict zones (he gave the example of Raqqa, in northern Syria, under the control of the self-determined Islamic State group).
Australian authorities believe at least 60 Australian citizens are in the Middle East fighting for Islamic State and other extremist groups.
New legislation is also expected to be implemented that will oblige telecommunications companies to provide information to the police and security services.
Last Thursday police carried out Australia’s biggest anti-terrorism operation, raiding dozens of locations in the cities of Sydney and Brisbane.
Two individuals were charged with terrorist offenses and illegal possession of weapons.
One of the men was allegedly planning the random beheading of a member of the public.
Abbott assured at the time that this idea had been promoted by an Australian who had held a high position within the Islamic State.