Authorities must experiment to find better ways of combating extremism, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told an anti-terror summit, as police say a 12-year-old boy has appeared on their radar as part of a terror investigation.
Mr Turnbull called the meeting in old Parliament House in Canberra in response to the murder of Curtis Cheng by 15-year-old Farhad Jabar in Parramatta two weeks ago.
The meeting brings together law enforcement and intelligence agency chiefs, as well as department heads of education, sport and multicultural affairs to share their experiences of tackling radicalisation.
“The shocking murder of Curtis Cheng, a shocking act of terrorism perpetrated by a 15-year-old boy reminds us yet again that radicalisation, extremism can be seen in the very young,” Mr Turnbull said ahead of the meeting on Thursday.
“People that we would regard as children. This is a real home grown threat.”
Mr Turnbull said experimentation was necessary for authorities to tackle radicalisation.
“As we deal with these threats and the people who seek to turn children into terrorists, we have to be as agile as they are.
“We have experiment and try new approaches. And all of you I know are doing that.”
Earlier Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said he was shocked a 12-year-old boy was one of more than a dozen young males being monitored by security agencies.
The boy was one of 18 males listed on a Federal Court order imposed on Sydney terrorism suspect Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand in March in a bid to thwart an alleged terrorist attack, the ABC reported on Wednesday.
Robin Torrick from the security research institute at Edith Cowan University said the meeting needs to examine social and the security reforms, preventative measures and early intervention.
“The community is going to be the bread and butter and absolute key to fighting radicalisation and in particular the Muslim community,” she told the ABC.
“It's just absolutely so important that we are partnering with them, that we're not only just networking with key leaders in the Muslim community but also spiritual youth advisers, youth workers, Muslim social workers as well.
Labor is not attending the meeting, but Opposition leader Bill Shorten told reporters he was pleased with the government’s latest approach to combating radicalisation.
“I'm pleased the Liberal Government moves away from a law and order response, which is fundamental, to understanding we need to unite our communities.”
“I only wish it well today.”