Expert says fear just plays into hands of terrorists


AS THE hunt for the "eighth man" involved in the Paris terror attacks continues in Europe, an Australian terrorism expert has warned against turning to "xenophobia".

It was revealed on Monday French police had interviewed Belgian-born Salah Abdelslam at the Belgian border shortly after the attacks then released him.

Abdelslam was later linked to the Paris terror attacks that killed 129 and injured more than 300people.

An international manhunt began Monday for the 26-year-old whose 31-year-old brother Brahim died in the attacks. Another brother was arrested.

France also launched a series of retaliation air strikes on IS strongholds in Raqqa and across northern Syria, with more coming.

The strikes came as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met with G20 leaders in Turkey, where United States President Barack Obama indicated the "allies" were considering more action against IS.

READ MORE: Paris attacks: Two more suicide bombers named

But Griffith University terrorism expert Professor Andrew O'Neil said it could take another, larger terrorism attack, possibly on US soil, before such a plan eventuated.

He said after the mass American casualties in Iraq, it was unlikely the US public had the appetite for a wider ground invasion.

Prof O'Neil said there was "only so much air strikes can do", and that the next step may be sending in more special forces.

"If they are really intent on getting rid of IS, you probably can't even do that just with special forces," he said.

Prof O'Neil said it was unlikely Australia was a target for a mass casualty attack, but it was "theoretically possible".

He said the best thing Australians could do at home was "not succumb to xenophobia".

"The thing these groups want is greater social disharmony, so it only serves their political ends," he said.

Topics:  france isis islamic state paris paris attacks terrorism

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