Hard and soft targets are equally vulnerable to terrorist attacks says Griffith University counter-terrorism expert Professor Geoff Dean.

In the wake of the Manchester bombing he said every event and place, small and large was a potential target.

He said it was essential that security measures such as early risk screening tools were implemented to prevent home-grown terrorist attacks.

“We need early warning systems so we can identify the perceptions and beliefs people have that lead them down this road toward behaviour radicalisation.

“If we can get them at the cognitive radicalised stage, when they’re starting to think about it and their perceptions and beliefs, that’s when we have the power to change behaviour.”

He said the way thecommunity of Manchester responds to the attack will determine if it will become a double tragedy.

“If there is a backlash against Muslims because of the tragedy, then such extremist reactions will further drive more moderate Muslims into the arms of Isis.

“Every piece of research around the world continues to show that no matter which country you are in, the Muslim community is divided into three groups — ‘most’, ‘some’ and ‘few’.”

The ‘Most’ group is the largest comprising ‘moderate’ Muslims, the second group is the ‘Some’ group, a smaller group made up of those who are least ‘sympathetic’ to some messages of radical Islamists and some who are overtly or covertly ‘supportive’ of waging Jihad.

The third group is the ‘Few’ group, consisting of a few hard-core extremists.

“When a community reacts to a tragedy like Manchester with enraged hate and vicious blame for all Muslims, then the balance among the groups changes for the worst,” Professor Dean said.

“The ‘Few’ group of hard-core extremists just sit back and laugh at how the very community they attack is helping them to recruit and replenish their ranks.

“A safe community is a compassionate community that does not peddle hate as result of acts of violence like Manchester.”