Australian spies are going into jihadi zones without weapons or the skills to defend themselves because intelligence agencies don't have the power to train them, a new report has warned.
ASIS agents are facing greater risks than ever due to the increasing need to work in places with a greater threat of terrorism, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's Independent Intelligence Review said.
But they are prohibited from carrying weapons as well as learning how to shoot or even hand-to-hand combat skills under strict laws, according to the Daily Telegraph.
However, some have been given the specialised training clearance since 2001 but only after being granted approval under 'strictly limited circumstances' from the responsible Minister, currently Julie Bishop.
Australian spies are going into jihadi areas without weapons or the skills to defend themselves because agencies don't have the power to train them, a new report warns. File photo
It is only after being given the clearance with written permission that new agents can train with guns or be taught self-defence.
But the Intelligence Review says that since the legislation was introduced, 'there have been fundamental changes in ASIS's operating