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Australia Is Ranked Third On ISIS Target List

Behind the United States and France.

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Australia is now ranked equal third as a target for ISIS-inspired terror attacks in Western nations, according to the US Homeland Security report 'Terror Gone Viral'.

Homeland Security / Via homeland.house.gov

The rankings are based on number of ISIS-linked plots (successful and foiled) per country since 2013:

1. United States - 41

2. France - 20

3. United Kingdom and Australia - 8

4. Belgium - 7

5. Germany and Spain - 5

6. Canada - 4

7. Turkey, Denmark and Italy - 3

8. Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia - 2

9. Israel, Indonesia, Libya, Kosovo, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Switzerland, Bangladesh and Sweden - 1

The report found ISIS has directed or inspired 101 terrorism plots against Western countries since its rise in 2013 and warns that "crowdsourcing" terrorism is on the rise.

Homeland Security / Via homeland.house.gov

There have been 38 terrorism plots against Western targets so far this year, compared to a total of 48 in 2015 and 19 in 2014.

40% of those targeted the United States, but the three highest casualty attacks all took place in Europe: Paris (480 casualties), Brussels (335) and Nice (286).

"Although law enforcement agencies have thwarted more plots overall than have been executed, this year has seen ISIS’s highest success rate to date," the report says.

The number of people killed or injured in terrorist attacks this year also outnumbers the total number of victims in 2014 and 2015 combined (750). The report estimates ISIS-linked attacks have claimed more than 1600 casualties since 2014.

"In 2016, ISIS operatives managed to pull off 44 per cent of their attempted plots, compared to 31 per cent in 2015. The total number of casualties from the group’s anti-Western attacks more than doubled in just the first half of this year."

The eight Australian terror plots include the Lindt Cafe siege, Victorian policy stabbing, and six other thwarted attempts, but not the shooting of police accountant Curtis Cheng.

Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images

September 2014: An ISIS-inspired teen stabbed two police officers in Australia after reportedly having his passport revoked over concerns he would try to join the group.

September 2014: Australian police arrested more than a dozen individuals in counterterrorism raids, including one who was reportedly in touch with an operative in Syria about planning a public beheading in Sydney

December 2014: An Australian ISIS supporter took 17 people hostage in a downtown Sydney cafe. Three people died when police stormed the facility, including the suspect.

February 2015: Australian police arrested two men for planning a public beheading in Sydney after discovering ISIS propaganda in their possession and a video detailing their plot.

April 2015: Five Australian teens were arrested while planning a terrorist attack at an Anzac Day event in Melbourne. At least one of the suspects received

instructions from an ISIS operative in Syria.

April 2016: A teenager communicating with an overseas ISIS operative was arrested for attempting to purchase a firearm in order to conduct a terrorist attack on Anzac Day.

May 2016: An 18-year old was arrested and charged with planning to launch a terrorist attack in Sydney, in addition to attempting to join ISIS in Syria.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull met with Leon Panetta, former head of the CIA, this week to discuss the war against ISIS.

Matthieu Alexandre / AFP / Getty Images

Last week at the Democrat Convention in the US, Panetta called for ISIS to be defeated in the wake of ongoing terror attacks across the globe.

"These murderers must be stopped," he said.

"It shouldn't surprise us but it should concern us," Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie said about Australia's ranking in the report.

@WilkieMP live on #Agenda with @Kieran_Gilbert (@jenniferbech)

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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