Attack on Paris is attack on us: Australian Justice Minister

2015-11-17 00:59:36 GMT2015-11-17 08:59:36(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SYDNEY, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- An attack on Paris is "an attack on us," Australia's justice minister told a regional summit on counter-terrorism financing that was attended by French officials.

"The tragic events that we have witnessed across the world in recent weeks are a sobering reminder of the dire threat that we all face," Justice Minister Michael Keenan told the summit in Sydney on Tuesday.

Keenan said the French flag adorning the stage, while another had been flying on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in recent days, was "because of the fact that the Australian people feel that an attack in Paris is an attack on us."

Keenan stressed the importance of the international community working together to disrupt and ultimately destroy "this barbaric organization and its toxic ideology," in reference to Islamic State.

Highlighting the challenges faced governments have in combatting terrorism financing, Keenan said while the number of suspicious matters reported to Australian financial authorities was less than 0.01 percent, it was in fact a 300 percent increase on the year prior.

Authorities have flagged 536 suspicious matter reports worth a 53 million Australian dollars, of which 169 are potentially relating to terrorism.

Keenan said financing terrorism not only funds the attacks, but also the support networks around them.

"Cutting off the funds at the source can make a significant difference to national security in Australia, to the security of the region and to the security of the globe," Keenan said.

Around 170 people in Australia are known to be providing financial support to individuals and groups involved in the Syria and Iraq conflicts, local media reported.

Australian security services are investigating thousands of persons of concern with links to terrorism, 400 of which are high priority targets.

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