Australia Fears Islamists Joining Forces With Biker Gangs

(Reuters) -

Australia is confronting what authorities say is a growing threat from homegrown Islamist radicals and fears a new danger is about to rumble over the horizon — would-be terrorists hooking up with biker gangs.

Islamism and organized crime are already mixing, said retired New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Clive Small, and the new gang members use radical Islam as a justification for joining.

More than 800 police were involved in counter-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane in September, which authorities said thwarted a plot by terrorists linked to the Islamic State to behead a random member of the public.

Last month, Australia passed laws aimed at preventing youngsters going to fight in Iraq and Syria, where scores of Australians have joined terrorist groups, and is on high alert for attacks at home by radicalized Muslims.

Convicted murderer and Brothers 4 Life gang boss Bassam Hamzy adopted the mantle of radical Islam behind bars while ordering his gang to join forces with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, media said.