Right-wing extremist threats to Australia in the context of the Christchurch terrorist attack
This thesis seeks to examine whether the Christchurch terror attack in New Zealand in 2019 constituted a failure in Australia’s counter-terrorism strategy. A comparative case study analysis was undertaken of the Five Eyes (FVEY) countries’ counter-terrorism strategies to evaluate their effectiveness in mitigating RWE terrorism between 2014 and 2020. The findings revealed that Australia and New Zealand were slower to take action against the RWE threat, in contrast to the UK and Canada, and to a lesser extent, the US. Australia’s slowness was, in part, due to its complacency, given that Australia had not experienced any significant RWE attacks, unlike the US, UK and Canada. Another reason for Australia’s slowness was because of its disproportionate focus on Islamist extremist terrorism, driven by the predominantly anti-Muslim terrorism discourse of some mainstream politicians. The thesis also explores what Australia could do to counter the growing RWE threat.