There has been a doubling in the number of suspected jihadists leaving Australia in 2015-2016.
Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper report indicated that around 312 people have been banned from departing the nation in seven months until January. On the other hand, the count was around 336 in around 12 months prior to the latest recorded period. The numbers have been surprising in spite of major cuts on the number of Aussies to be sent for fight in Iraq/Syria against the extremists.
The immigration department confirmed the numbers to AFP. However, it was yet not clear how many suspected jihadists out of them were departing Australia to enter Middle East for a fight. Some of the banned people were somehow allowed to resume the journey though.
“In some cases, a person who was ‘offloaded’ may be allowed to continue with their travel plans if they are no longer considered a risk,” a spokesman from the immigration department said in a statement.
According to the ABC, the Australian government, especially Canberra, has shown continuous concerns about people leaving Australia to fight against the ISIS militants. Around 120 Aussies have been said to depart from Australia to join such groups. On the other hand, the government confirmed that around 160 of the Australians show huge support for the ISIS groups and these people help them through financing and recruitment while residing in the nation.
The government has already framed laws in later 2014, which allows suspicious people having ISIS links to be banned from leaving the nation, thereby facing an imprisonment of up to 10 years. In late 2015, a law was passed, according to which Australian citizenship should be taken away from people suspected of terrorism links.
Counter-terrorism experts have found that there has been a significant decrease in the number of fighters joining militant groups abroad because of the continuous airport interventions across the nation.