Mr Brandis revealed on ABC’s Q&A program that 71 Australians had fought in northern Iraq and Syria, adding that 73 people have had their passports cancelled.
More than 15 Australians had been killed in the conflict in northern Iraq and Syria where Islamic State militants have been fighting.
Mr Brandis said militants were targeting the Australian Muslim community, which he referred to as a “victim”.
“Every last one of those people have been recruited from within this [Muslim] community,” he said.
“… The government thinks that this community is being preyed upon.”
More counter-terror raids expected
Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan also attended the program, saying that the community could expect further large scale counter-terror raids similar to those carried out in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Assistant Commissioner Gaughan refused to comment on whether plans for further raids were underway, instead stating that they should be expected.
“The environment has changed,” he said.
“… The community will see more of this where we will do large number of execution of search warrents and probably only one or two arrests.”
Assistant Commissioner Gaughan also defended September’s raids, the largest in Australia’s history, saying the use of more than 800 officers was “not overkill”.
“We make no apologies for that,” he said.
“For us, it was an issue of officer safety.”
Mr Brandis also stated that the raids were not “overreach”.
Team Australia about ‘unity and inclusion’
Mr Brandis also defended Team Australia rhetoric, saying it was a phrase of unity.
“Team Australia, from the mouth of Tony Abbott, is a word of inclusion,” he said.
“It is a word of unity, of bringing people together… It’s his favourite collective noun, to address a group of people as team.
“We are all one with another. We are all Australians together, that’s what he meant.”
Mr Brandis also told the audience that the government did not want to alienate Muslim community members.
“The worst mistake we could make is to demonise our Muslim fellow citizens,” he said.
“You are not the problem, you are the solution.”