Australia proposes regulating travel to terrorism hotspots in laws to combat homegrown terror

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Australia plans to regulate travel to terrorist hotbeds such as Iraq and Syria as part of a raft of counterterrorism measures aimed at addressing the domestic threat posed by war-hardened homegrown Islamic extremists.

The government on Tuesday announced proposed laws and 630 million Australian dollars ($590 million) in additional resources for intelligence and law enforcement agencies to help them to cope with the scores of Australians who return home after perpetrating terrorist acts overseas.

Under legislation to be introduced to Parliament in the next few weeks, it would be a criminal offense to travel to designated countries "without a valid reason."

Attorney General George Brandis said the onus would be on the traveler to explain that the reason was innocuous.