Sydney siege reveals the hidden face of Islamic extremism down under: Disturbing rise of plots in ‘soft target’ Australia

A 22-year-old Sydney man arrested in the nation’s largest counter-terrorism operation allegedly conspired with Australia’s most senior Islamist militant to launch a deadly attack on a random passerby

The Sydney siege has thrown a spotlight on the disturbing growth of terror threats in Australia in recent months, with one expert claiming that the country is being targeted because it is a ‘soft target’.

‘I suspect that cities in Australia or Canada are seen as relatively soft targets, compared with London where you can’t turn a corner without seeing a heavily armed policeman nowadays,’ said historian Michael Burleigh.

In September, Australian police carried out the largest counter-terrorism raids in the country’s history, after uncovering an alleged plot to behead a member of the public just yards away from the Lindt cafe that is currently under siege…