Graffiti in suburban Melbourne painted by members of the National Socialist Network.

Threat of white-power race war ‘grave concern’ to ASIO, says chief

Australia’s counter-terror intelligence chief has warned that Australians as young as 16 are being radicalised to support a white-power race war, and that half of ASIO’s most important domestic anti-terrorism cases now involve neo-Nazi cells and other ideologically motivated groups.

ASIO director-general Mike Burgess has told The AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes that this unprecedented shift in the national security threat away from religiously motivated terrorism is being fuelled by disinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and other global events. Encrypted platforms offered by tech companies are allowing them to communicate securely.

“What they [neo-Nazi cells] are prepared to do, or some of them are prepared to do, to make [a race war] happen … is of grave concern to us, and should be of grave concern to all Australians,” Mr Burgess said.

“This is spread across every state and territory, and it’s regional and rural, as well as capital cities … It’s currently 50 per cent of our priority onshore counter-terrorism caseload, so it is of concern to us.”

Mr Burgess’ comments come as The AgeThe Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes release part one of an eight-month investigation, including an unprecedented infiltration of Australia’s largest neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist Network.

The investigation has exposed the network’s secret membership lists and its leaders’ support for the Christchurch terrorist and terror suspects facing trial in NSW and South Australia.

Read the article by Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer in the Brisbane Times.