Abbott says Ottawa copycat attacks could target War Memorial

Paramedics and police pull a victim away from the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa
Paramedics and police pull a victim away from the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has said the Australian War Memorial could be a target of "copycat" attacks, after the shooting in Canada.

Mr Abbott made the comments on radio on Friday.

He said part of the problem was that there was a copycat tendency among "these people", referring to extremist groups.

But he said he was "not sure" the attack of a lone gunman on Canada's parliament and war memorial did actually increase the risk of such attacks in Australia.

Mr Abbott said it was a reminder that the risks were real and that the government had not previously thought the war memorial would be a target.

"Obviously, it is very much a symbol of our nation and what we stand for and I suppose to extremist fanatics it could therefore be a target," he said.

"There's the Last Post at our War Memorial every day and I guess if someone wanted to do something gruesome, that's the kind of thing that could be looked at."

However his comments followed Senate estimates hearings this week in which officials confirmed, despite heightened security at Parliament House, the actual terror threat had not changed for that building.

Mr Abbott also spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday to express personally his "shock and horror" at the fatal attack this week.


Topics:  editors picks ottawa shooting terrorism tony abbott

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