Not if, but when: Terror expert says attack on Australia is 'a certainty'

Bryan Seymour

One of Australia’s top terrorism experts warns a terror attack here is more than just likely, it’s a certainty.

Counter-terrorism expert David Kilcullen said the country’s effort to drive Islamic State out of business in the Middle East has put us in danger at home.

He said a terror attack was imminent especially when Islamic State fighters return to Australia.

Kilcullen was the right hand man to America’s leading General during the Iraq war.

He has since returned home with a grim warning to Australians.

“I think people should expect a terrorist attack,” he said.

Islamic State faces twin offensives at their defacto capital of Raqqa in Syria and their Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.

Kilcullen felt victory could be a double-edged sword.

15 terror attacks have been stopped in Australia in the last two years. Photo: 7 News.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a successful outcome to the battle of Mosul actually results in a spike of terrorism threat in the region and also possibly Australia, rather than cutting the terrorism threat,” he told 7 News.

Kilcullen praised Australia’s security services for stopping 15 terror attacks in the last two years.

He said most of the 110 Australians fighting with Islamic State will likely die there.

However he said some of the foreign fighters will make it back home, and some will attempt to engage in terrorism or some other kind of extremist action when they return.

The threat also rests on who wins the upcoming US presidential election.

Kilcullen warns the threat also rests on the outcome of the US election.

Kilcullen designed the American troop surge in Iraq in 2007 and worked closely with George W. Bush.

He said he was also across the details of what was happening in the Middle East.

"If you look at Donald Trump he's incredibly ignorant on the issues. He's proved himself to be unwilling to accept advice from people that do know,” he said.

In contrast, Kilcullen felt Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was doing a good job, however the threat of attack will remain for the foreseeable future.