A view of the Sydney Opera House.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
In the past month, 230 people were prevented from leaving Australia out of fears of joining radical jihadi groups in the Middle East such as Islamic State, according to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
In an address to parliament, Abbott said that security forces stopped 86,000 people for questioning at various airports around the country.
According to Australia's ABC news, among those prevented from leaving the country was a 17-year-old boy who attempted to fly to Turkey from Sydney without his parents. He was removed from a flight after it was determined by counter-terrorism officers that he was planning to join Islamic State. His removal took place six days after two other teenage boys were stopped at the airport while trying to fly unaccompanied to the Middle East.
"He was on his way to conflict in the Middle East and it comes off the back of two individuals —16 and 17-year-olds ... — who had been intercepted by CTU [Counter Terrorist Unit] officers just before that," said Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
The three boys were all released back to their parents while investigations are ongoing.
In December, three people were killed by Islamic State terrorists in Sydney, as well as reports of several Australian nationals leaving Australia to fight with terror groups in the Middle East.