Australia pursues new law allowing indefinite detention for terror convicts

A security guard patrols the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House after a man was charged for making threats at the Sydney Opera House.
A security guard patrols the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House after a man was charged for making threats at the Sydney Opera House. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia on Thursday (Sept 15) introduced a new law allowing the indefinite detention of people convicted of terror-related charges, and Parliament is expected to approve it as early as this week.

A staunch United States ally, Australia has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals, having suffered several"lone wolf" assaults, including a cafe siege in Sydney in 2014 in which two hostages and the gunman were killed and an attack by an "Islamic State-inspired" 22-year-old man on Sunday, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group.

Australia has also sought to tighten oversight of potential threats by lowering the age of people who can be subjected to telecommunications interceptions and searches to 14.

About 100 people have left Australia for Syria to fight alongside organisations such as ISIS, Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said earlier this month.