PM slams extremism after US mall shooting

Rebecca Gredley
US authorities are treating the Texas mall massacre as an act of domestic terrorism

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again vowed to stamp out violent extremism after an allegedly racially motivated shooting in the US left scores dead.

A gunman armed with an assault-rifle killed 20 people and wounded 26 at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas before being arrested on Saturday.

US authorities are treating the matter as an act of domestic terrorism, having cited a manifesto they attributed to the suspect as evidence the massacre was racially motivated.

Mr Morrison says all terrorism begins with extremism, stressing the importance of Australia gravitating towards the middle.

"That's the best defence against these sorts of extremist views that can metastasise into this violence," he told reporters in outer Brisbane on Monday.

"We've seen it on so many occasions, it is terribly upsetting and it's terribly distressing."

Mr Morrison has pushed for a global crackdown on social media giants to root out terrorism and violent extremist content to protect internet users.

The prime minister was persuaded by the March attack in New Zealand - when an Australian man allegedly killed 51 Muslims at two mosques and wounded dozens more.

"It just shows, you've got to be eternally vigilant about these threats ... we are taking action against all forms of violent extremism in Australia," Mr Morrison said.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton last week attended meetings with security ministers from the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance - comprising the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - where the issue was discussed.

The ministers met with some media companies who are already cooperating with efforts to pull extremist content down, he said.

"These media companies have a lot more to do and they have a lot more significant role to play than they have in the past."