It’s only taken him, what? Five years to figure it out. ASIO chief Mike Burgess has finally clued in to the literally bleeding obvious: Islamic extremism is our greatest terrorist threat. Next on Magic Mike’s to-do list: figuring out that, holy shit, did you guys know that water is wet?

Ever since his appointment in 2019, Brainiac Burgess has hand-waved and pearl-clutched about “right wing extremism”, “religiously motivated extremism”… anything but Islamic extremism. Which, I suppose, is at least an improvement on his immediate predecessor, who flatly lied that there “no evidence to suggest there’s a connection between refugees and terrorism”. This, despite his own admission that, of the dozen-plus terror attacks and thwarted terror plots in the last few years, only one didn’t involve, a) Muslims, and b) Muslim refugees or the Muslim children of refugees.

“One of those,” Duncan Lewis argued, “involved a right-wing extremist… so the answer is they have not all been carried out by Muslims.”

Yep: these are the sort of obvious lies and dodges we’ve got used to, from Canberra.

Which makes Burgess’ Captain Obvious moment all the more telling. If ASIO are finally admitting it, then there must be something big in the works (and with Bombadan coming up, you better believe it).

Spy chief Mike Burgess has warned that Sunni Islamic violent extremism poses the “greatest religiously motivated threat in Australia” and revealed previously classified details of a ­foreign interference operation that recruited a former politician who tried to link the spies with a family member of a prime minister.

I’ll deal with the “former politician” later. Let’s look at what ASIO has been desperate to avoid talking about for at least a decade.

In his annual threat assessment in Canberra on Wednesday night, Mr Burgess acknowledged a “realistic possibility of a terrorist attack or attack planning in the next 12 months” and expressed concern about the rise of nationalist extremists including some seeking a race war.

Mr Burgess said the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, which fears the potential of lone-wolf attacks, has also been on high alert since the Hamas-led massacre on October 7 last year in Israel and subsequent Iran-backed attacks in the Middle East.

And here’s where Mr Intelligence blatantly contradicts himself.

“We have seen heightened community tensions that have translated into some incidents of violence connected to protest activity,” Mr Burgess said.

“We have also observed an increase in rhetoric encouraging violence in response to the conflict. Hateful rhetoric has targeted Israel and the Jewish community, as well as Muslim and Palestinian communities. Sunni violent extremism poses the greatest religiously motivated violent extremist threat in Australia.”

The Australian

Yet, it was only weeks ago that Burgess was handwaving away violently anti-Semitic protests as “just letting off steam”, and an “important safety valve”. So, which is it?

Perhaps his attention has been focused by the upcoming Muslim holy month. “Bombadan” as it’s been nicknamed is notorious for its correlation with a spike in terror attacks. In fact, jihadist groups are about 25% more likely to conducts acts of terrorism during Ramadan.

This year, we’re being warned, is shaping up to be a doozy.

Israel has warned Iran and its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas will use Ramadan to inflame the region and create another October 7, despite rising hopes Israel and Hamas will agree a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month, which begins on March 10.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told troops that Iran wanted to provoke Palestinians by using potential restrictions at the sacred Temple Mount and tensions in the West Bank to create “the second stage of October 7, and ignite the ground.”

“Hamas’s main goal is to take Ramadan, with an emphasis on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, and turn it into the second phase of their plan that began on October 7. This is the main goal of Hamas, it is being amplified by Iran and Hezbollah,” Mr Gallant said.

The Australian

With violence against Jews escalating by the day in Australia, it appears that even our asleep-at-the-wheel security agencies are dimly cottoning on that there just might be Something About Islam.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...