Melbourne features in IS video encouraging homegrown attacks

Michael Scanlan

Islamic State terrorists have released a shocking new video, encouraging homegrown attacks on a number of Melbourne’s popular sites.

The propaganda video, obtained by Seven News, shows prominent sites including a Qantas jet at Melbourne Airport and St Paul’s Cathedral among images of beheadings, bodies and warfare in the Middle East.

“(IS) are hoping by putting Australian scenes in a propaganda video, somebody in Melbourne/Sydney will look at that and be tipped over the edge into trying to do something,” terror expert Professor Greg Barton said.

Melbourne Airport features in the IS video. Source: 7News
Melbourne Airport features in the IS video. Source: 7News
Followed by an explosion. Source: 7News
Followed by an explosion. Source: 7News

“One of the things we have to worry about is not so much attacks on aircraft mid-flight, but attacks at airports.

“The attack at Brussels airport and Istanbul brought that truth home.”

Melbourne is the only Australian city to feature in the shocking video.

Islamic State extremists. Source: 7News
Islamic State extremists. Source: 7News

While the Department of Foreign Affairs lists the chance of a terrorism attack in Australia as “probable”, terror experts say the group are becoming desperate after losing ground in the Middle East.

“They’re trying to keep their brand strong,” Prof Barton said.

“They work on a strategy of not just propaganda to make themselves look big, but also to crowdsource attacks.”

The video shows St Paul's Cathedral. Source: 7News
The video shows St Paul's Cathedral. Source: 7News

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Qantas, Melbourne Airport and Victoria Police are all aware of the video, which runs for at least 14 minutes.

“All Australians and Victorians in particular should feel very confident that our efforts are doing what they are required to do, and that is keeping our country safe from this fanatical terrorist organisation,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said.

The new video comes just months after a US Homeland Security report revealed Australia ranked equal third as a target for Islamic State-linked terrorism plots among western nations.

The US was the top target among western nations with 41, France was second with 20, and Australia and the United Kingdom were equal third with eight plots either foiled or successful.

One of many attacks featured on the IS video. Source: 7News
One of many attacks featured on the IS video. Source: 7News

"ISIS-linked attacks against the west have been responsible for more than 1600 casualties since 2014," the committee's August report states.

"The three highest-casualty attacks all occurred within the past year, including the November assault in Paris [480 people], the attack in Brussels [335 people], and the recent truck massacre in Nice [286 people]."