CANBERRA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- As the war against Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East begins to wind down, Australian Border Force (ABF) officials at Australia's major airports will shift their focus to the Philippines, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The rise of Islamic State's influence in the southern Philippines city of Marawi is cause for concern for those at Australia's borders, according to Bishop, who said 17 outbound international passengers have been stopped by security before boarding their flights since July 1.
She told News Corp on Wednesday that while the conflict in Iraq and Syria was dying down, the "consequences" of the victory could result in an influx of IS-inspired foreign fighters into the Southeast Asian and Australian region.
"We are concerned that should (foreign fighters) survive, our fear is they will seek to come back to our region. That may well be the consequence of the retaking of al Raqqa and Mosul," Bishop said.
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