Australia's domestic spy agency has warned ideologically-motivated extremism, including right-wing terrorism, is now approaching nearly half the organisation's investigations.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation's director-general Mike Burgess told an estimates hearing on Tuesday the emerging area was on the rise, mirroring a global trend.
"Our investigations [into] ideologically-motivated violent extremism, such as racists and nationalists, are approaching 50 per cent of our priority counter-terrorism onshore caseload," Mr Burgess said in his opening statement.
"This reflects a growing international trend, as well as ASIO's decision to allocate more resources to the threat.
"The growth of ideologically motivated violent extremism is concerning and challenging, but it's important to put [it] into context - religiously motivated violence extremism remains the most serious terrorist threat."
Mr Burgess has previously said the threat took up somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent of the agency's investigations but the latest figures show it's continuing to rise.
He added it was partially a result of the agency dedicating more time to looking at the threat.
"Effectively we're lifting more security intelligence rocks, as we do that we're finding things," he said.
"[What] we're still working through though, is this just someone who has extreme views versus someone who will go to violence to further their views, because that really is important.
"There is a link between hate speech and hate crime, including acts of terrorism, and there's a link between possession of violent or extremist insignia and acts of terrorism."
Independent senator Rex Patrick later queried how likely a terrorist attack was to occur domestically after ASIO warned earlier this year one was "probable" in the next 12 months.
The security agency boss clarified there were groups that had the means and will to plan and undertake one and the "probable" category was just a step below "certain".
"In our minds, ['probable'] means there are people, groups with the capability and intent to conduct terrorist attacks onshore, and it's probable that they would do so," Mr Burgess said.
"We might go to 'certain', which is the next one, if we have intelligence that they're about to do it."
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