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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Transnational Terrorism: The Threat to Australia

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2004

ISBN 1 920959 04 1

Information Sheet 2: Why Australia is a terrorist target  

  • Al Qaida has identified Australia as a target on numerous occasions and Jemaah Islamiyah was behind the Bali bombings in October 2002 that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
  • Australia is a target for complex reasons but the main reason is that the terrorists feel threatened by us and by our example as a conspicuously successful modern society.   We stand in the way of their ultimate goal which is to establish an Islamic super-state.
  • The values on which Australian society is based such as religious freedom, tolerance, racial and gender equality, equality of opportunity and respect for the rule of law, are sharply at odds with the values and political goals of the terrorists.  
  • We are energetic supporters of democracy, human rights and religious freedoms in our foreign policy.   The terrorists cite our alliance with the United States, our role in East Timor, our engagement in Afghanistan and our involvement in the Coalition in Iraq as part of an imagined Western conspiracy aimed at humiliating and degrading the Muslim world.  

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade