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The Prime Minister Just Held A Press Conference With Masked Soldiers And The Internet Went Nuts

Malcolm Turnbull's announcement was held in front of masked soldiers armed with high-powered weapons.

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On Monday, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull paid a visit to Sydney's Holsworthy army barracks to announce new powers for the military to be deployed during terror situations.

Like any good military photo op, Turnbull's announcement was full of pointing at intimidating-looking weapons, while soldiers, who were masked to remain anonymous, mingled in the background.

State police officers will remain the first responders to a terror attack.

But now the military, including the elite special forces, will be able to be deployed to the streets to support police.

"Defence must be able to contribute effectively to domestic counter-terrorism efforts, in addition to its offshore counter-terrorism missions and regional capacity-building activities,” Turnbull said in a statement released before the press conference.

Brendan Esposito / AAPIMAGE

Labor's defence spokesperson Richard Marles issued a note of caution in the wake of the press conference: "I think that the Australian people can well see a prop when it is presented.

"They can sniff it from a mile away... it is for all of us in this space to use our judgement appropriately to make sure that we are doing this in a way which is respectful to the ADF."

A lot of people reacted with humour when presented with the sight of the prime minister standing in front of masked soldiers carrying large weapons.

The last thing Turnbull needs is the ADF attacking him. Tony Abbott is doing enough of that. #auspol


the lengths these fellas have to go to to keep abbott away..

Abbott really is taking this a bit far, isn't he.

There was one bloke just over the prime minister's shoulder.

Fair dinkum, look at the bloke behind the pm

Several people couldn't help but draw comparisons to other leaders who've brought their own masked troops.

Senior govt figure with masked troops - who did it better, Malcolm or Mendo?


It's scary how good some looked on TV.

To be fair, Mad Max is pretty much an Australian film.

At least some other image-conscious leaders wanted in on the bizarre, militaristic photo op.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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