Tuesday 14th July 2015 - 7:22 am

Turnbull urges cool assessment of Daesh threat

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull called tonight for a cool, objective assessment of the threat posed by Daesh, in televised remarks seen as more veiled criticism of the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

He said Australians “need to be very objective, very measured and very balanced” in what they say about Islamic State or Daesh.

Mr Abbott has been much less restrained in his warnings of the dangers posed by Islamic State.

He told told a conference in Sydney last month that – if it could – IS – or Daesh – would come for every person and government with one message: “Submit or die”.

“This is terrorism with global ambitions.” Mr Abbott said then.

Mr Abbott has also placed IS among the greatest threats Australia has ever faced.

However appearing on the ABC’s 7.30 Report tonight, the Communications Minister said “there is in politics, often, a vocabulary of hyperbole, whereby:-

“…there is never a problem:there is always a massive problem.”

“…there is never a threat:it is always the biggest threat you have ever encountered.”

But with DAESH, they are seeking to recruit, Mr Turnbull said.

“including recruiting Australians.

“and one of the things they use is the image of triumph:”the image of invincibility.”

Mr Turnbull said Daesh wants people to believe that they are concrete, they are powerful and they are frightening the West.

“So the bigger they can appear, the more successful they think they will be with their recruiting.” he said.

This was not the first time Mr Turnbull, a former Liberal leader, had offered lightly veiled criticism of what Mr Abbott has been saying about IS.

The Prime Minister has said that the threats it poses are among the biggest Australia has ever faced.

But Mr Turnbull said, pointedly, that it was not to be compared with those posed either by Hitler’s army or Tojo’s forces.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
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