Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says he's not surprised two Australians have been busted as part of a Kuwaiti cell that was sending air defence systems and funds to the Islamic State group.
The cell's chief, who was not named, confessed he raised funds and provided logistical support for the group, which has carried out deadly attacks in Lebanon and France in the past week, Kuwait's interior ministry said today.
Mr Dutton said although he had no information about the matter, the reality was more than 100 Australians have travelled to the Middle East to aid terrorist causes.
"The difficulty of course is once they leave our shores, then they become even more radicalised," Mr Dutton said in Brisbane on Friday.
"They are trained in the art of bomb making and terrorist activity otherwise, which is why we don't want them back on our shores."
Mr Dutton said the government aimed to prevent would-be terrorists from leaving Australia in the first place, because they had a constitutional right as Australian citizens to return armed with the knowledge they had garnered overseas.
The Kuwaiti cell's chief told authorities he acted as a co-ordinator for the IS in the country and arranged arms deals and FN6 portable air defence systems from Ukraine, which were shipped to IS in Syria through Turkey.
The ministry did not provide details about the size of the arms deals.
Besides the Lebanese mastermind, authorities arrested three Syrians, an Egyptian and a Kuwaiti and said four others were outside Kuwait - two Syrians and two Australians of Lebanese origin.
Several suspected IS members and sympathisers were tried in the Gulf emirate for a suicide bombing in June claimed by the group.