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PM warns of likely new terror attacks

AAP logoAAP 1/09/2016

Australians are likely to fall victim to deadly terrorism attacks in south-east Asia as networks of extremists are galvanised and attracting new recruits, the prime minister has warned.

"Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Bangladesh have suffered terrorist attacks over the past year. Many are expecting further attacks," Malcolm Turnbull told parliament on Thursday.

But Australian politicians could not close their eyes to the threat of "lone wolf" attacks on home soil, the prime minister said, adding he would soon receive a report on how best to thwart these.

Islamic State were sending extremists to countries to carry out attacks, and were also attempting to recruit and radicalise people with no prior history with terrorist organisations, Mr Turnbull said.

While those who had carried out the Martin Place siege, the Endeavour Hills stabbing and the murder of police official Curtis Cheng might be dead that didn't lessen the threat, he said.

"There are still people outside our country, and some within it, who hate the freedoms that we enjoy and would seek to threaten them and undermine them with violence," Mr Turnbull said.

"Some of these lone-actors and small groups are not deeply engaged with the Islamist ideology but are nonetheless, due to a range of reasons, including mental illness, susceptible to being radicalised rapidly."

The federal government has been actively reassuring Australia's regional neighbours it would work with them to strengthen co-operation and mitigate risks.

The government plans to bring to parliament later in September new draft laws to keep high-risk terrorists in jail after their sentence ends and a stronger control-order regime.

Mr Turnbull said these decisive steps were a necessary strengthening of Australia's counter-terrorism laws.

"They are also proportionate - balancing the need to keep the community safe with concerns for privacy and individual rights," he said.

Legislation imposing harsher penalties for trafficking illegal firearms will also go to parliament in the next sitting week.

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