15th May 15:40
6/5/04:AUS.Get ready for TERROR election Campaign(GLW:REpost)
Reposting 10 Sep 2004
Forwarded 12 May 2004 from greenleft weekly
(AddedNote: My admirations! These writers from GLW can just "tell it
like as it is" regarding with any subject: here election in Australia,
"The Howard government needs a terrorist attack -- or a perceived
threat of one". The Australian government and their political
spinners seems still sensing for some "electorial pulse" of Australian
public. For the good of all, especially racial and religious
minorities in Australia, let us hope Howard government stop the
politics of scapegoating. -- U Ne Oo.)
GREENLEFT WEEKLY 6 MAY 2004
Get ready for a "terror" election campaign
On April 26, Prime Minister John Howard restated to A Current Affair
that his greatest fear for 2004 is a terrorist attack in
Australia. But in reality, Howard biggest fear is that Australia
doesn't become a terrorist target, that no terrorist cells are
uncovered, and that they don't find people to jail on charges of
The Howard government needs a terrorist attack -- or a percieved
threat of one -- to sow the sort of widespread fear and mistrust that
could be the Coalition's only hope of getting re-elected.
The Bali bombing didn't scare people sufficiently, and no Jemaah
Islamiya terrorists were ever found in Australia. After a series of
raids on Indonesian Australians, no charges were ever laid.
Last November the Murdoch press told us that French national Willie
Brigitte had planned to bomb the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor. This
was later revealed as merely the product of an ASIO brainstorm of
worst-case scenarios. The sensationalist reporting of Brigittes
links to a terror cell and sleeper agents was solely based on
a classified dossier produced by French anti-terror judge
Then on April 15, Izhar ul-Haque, a 21-year-old fourth-year medical
student at the University of NSW, was charged with training with the
banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) organisation. On April 22, Faheem Khalid
Lodhi was charged with preparing a terrorist act.
These were the first arrests to be made under Australian
anti-terrorism legislation since the 1978 Hilton bombing. The two men
await trial in the high-security section of Goulburn jail.
Within two hours of ul-Haque's arrest, federal politicians began
commenting to the press. Foreign minister Alexander Downer told Sunday
Sunrise on April 18 that it gives the public confidence that our
agencies are doing a good job. He praised the arrest, asserting that
this is exactly what the federal police should be doing, making
absolutely sure that people are properly protected in this country.
In an opinion piece printed in the April 20 Sydney Morning Herald,
former president of the Islamic Society of UNSW Dr Mohammed Waleed
which was not even a proscribed terrorist `group until 10 months
later, a group that terrorism expert Clive Williams says `would be
unlikely to be interested itself in terrorist activities in Australia.
There has not even been a suggestion that ul-Haque was involved in, or
was planning any kind of terrorist activity.
Proscription is designed to outlaw organisations deemed a threat to
national security. The only thing linking LeT with Australia is
material from Bruguieres dossier, which claimed that Brigitte
trained with LeT and was then ordered to Australia. The April 23
Australian misrepresented as Brigittes confession an allegation from
Bruguieres dossier that an LeT group in Sydney was preparing a
large-scale terrorist attack in Australia.
Until 2001, LeT, a Sunni Islamic group operating in Kashmir to
liberate the region from India, was backed by the CIA and Pakistans
intelligence services. After 9/11, Pakistan was pressured to ban the
organisation, as have a number of Western countries.
It has been an offence in Australia since March 2002 to fund or
resource LeT, but its proscription in December also made it an offence
to train with, recruit for, belong to or otherwise support LeT. LeT
was proscribed almost nine months after ul-Haque is alleged to have
trained with them. A government source admitted to the April 17 SMH
that this could make his prosecution more difficult.
Ul-Haque's lawyer Adam Houda told the April 18 Melbourne Age: We
are unimpressed by [Attorney General Philip] Ruddock and Downer
utilising ... my clients arrest to gain cheap political points. A
message to the Howard government: please dont use my clients case
as a vehicle for your election campaign. This is a young man's life
you are destroying.
After 34-year-old Lodhi, a Pakistani Australian, appeared on April 22
in Sydney's Central Local Court, the April 23 SMH declared
incorrectly that he had been
charged with "seven terrorist offences". Lodhi was charged with
making a false statement to ASIO, and using a false name to buy a
mobile phone and to inquire about the price of chemicals. These are
not terrorist offences.
A former colleague from the Sydney architecture firm where Lodhi
worked told the April 24 Age that Lodhi often accessed satellite
images from a NSW department of planning website during office
hours. In numerous occasions he was remarking how the satellite
images took snapshots of buildings. I said `Why would you need to know
that information? He said he was just looking at it for property
purchase purposes. The colleague added that Lodhi talked
excessively about where he could get chemicals for his family in
In October, Lodhi lodged an inquiry with Deltrex Chemicals about the
availability of urea nitrate, a component of commercial fertiliser
which is explosive in large quantities. ASIO assumed he planned to use
it to make a bomb, but Lodhi argues he was inquiring on behalf of his
family, who own a tanning business in Pakistan.
Lodhi's lawyer Stephen Hopper told ABC Radio AM program on April
23: I think theres enough reasonable doubt to fill a truck. Anyone
can have suspicious cir***stances ... but you've got to be able to
join the dots, and my view is that they can't join the dots.
Arguing that the evidence is cir***stantial, he added that one would
think there is an election in the air.
Lodhis unit was raided in October and his Australian and Pakistani
passports seized. Ul-Haques passports were seized in November. If
these were such dangerous men, why did ASIO spend six months
undertaking surveillance before the two were charged?
Speaking to the April 25 SMH, Hopper argued that in the current
climate any jury hearing his clients case would be biased,
prejudicing Lodhis right to a fair trial. If Mr Hopper wins that
argument when Lodhis hearing comes up, he could get a permanent stay
of proceedings and Lodhi would not go to trial, the article claimed.
All the corporate media outlets are complicit in their role of
amplifying the governments fear agenda and whipping up the terrorist
bogey. Fairfax journalist Brendan Nicholson, in an April 24 Age
article titled Can our spies come in from the cold?, made the
stunningly baseless prediction: Evidence to be produced at their
trials will paint a chilling picture of an attempt by an
al-Qaeda-connected terrorist group to lay the groundwork for a
bloodbath in Australia.
2001 was the Tampa election. 2004 may well turn out to be the terror
election a campaign manufactured to play on people
s concerns and fears by a government desperate to maintain a hold on
In the months leading up to the election, we can expect to see anyone
who had anything to do with Willie Brigitte hauled before the courts,
complete with wild allegations of bombings and mayhem. Dont be
surprised if some are wrongly imprisoned, and dont expect to hear
public apologies as people are quietly released without charge months
Further attacks on civil liberties and an escalation in anti-Muslim
racism can also be expected. ASIO has already alluded to the next
target, leaking to the April 17 Australian that two men under the
scrutiny of authorities are a Lebanese taxi driver and a Bangladeshi butcher.
http://netipr.org/~uneoo (Burma HR Activity)
http://www.senet.com.au/~netipr (Refugee Rights Activity)
emails: email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org...ari ot.net.au
Post: Dr U Ne Oo, 18 Shannon Place, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.