John Howard 'surprised' at terror 'complacency'

In the interview, filmed prior to a major counter-terrorism operation in Sydney in September, Mr Howard said he was "surprised" at the international attitude towards the terror threat.

"I don’t think any Australian should assume we won’t have a terrorist incident here," Mr Howard said.

"I was surprised at the complacency in President Obama’s speech a few months ago at the Westpoint graduation ceremony where he talked about their strength in, I thought, rather too relaxed a tone of voice."

Mr Howard said problems with social integration were responsible for Australians becoming radical members of Islamic State.

"I think some people had spent too much time in small communities closed communities where that kind of thing can occur," he said.

"That was my view when I was Prime Minister, based on all the advice I then had from our intelligence agencies."

Mr Howard's view on Australian extremists came just weeks before the largest counter-terrorism operation in Australian history, which reportedly thwarted a plan to kill random members of the Australian public.

Authorities raised the terror threat level to high.

"We should be quite unapologetic in demanding … an acceptance that people [who] in anyway support terrorism are behaving in a way that is inconsistent in the values and wealth of this country."

The September 18 raid involved hundreds of Australian Federal Police and NSW Police officers and led to the arrest of 15 people.

A 22-year-old man appeared in court charged with acting in preparation for a terrorist act, for allegedly plotting the "random selection of persons to gruesomely execute".