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An Inspector Calls: Terror Link To Down-Under

  • July 4th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

glasgow-attack-reduced.jpgBritish Metropolitan Police sent a Chief Inspector to Australia to question one of the eight men detained after last week’s failed terrorist attacks in London and Glasgow — stirring up the political community but not raising the terror alert Down Under.

Political leaders found themselves in the harmonious situation of telling the public about efficient anti-terror measures while also able to say “not here”.

DETAINEE HELPING POLICE

Australian police on Monday night (2.7.07) arrested Mohamed Haneef, 27, an Indian doctor working at Queensland’s Gold Coast Hospital, as he sought to fly out from the nearby Brisbane International Airport.

He was not charged and was co-operating with police investigating the “doctors’ plot”, the attempted fire bomb attacks in the United Kingdom.

News media were told he had been in phone contact with the suspects apprehended in England; a second expatriate doctor from the Gold Coast Hospital was also helping police but had not been detained.

INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC

State and federal Ministers quickly got onto the public stage declaring in favour of maximum information flow to the public against official secrecy; pointing out that new anti-terror laws were being applied for the first time; assuring the public that police going through the detained man’s possessions had found no explosives; affirming faith in the Temporary Skilled Workers Visa scheme under which the two had been admitted to Australia; undertaking to meet Islamic leaders to affirm social harmony.

Australia’s level 3, Moderate, terrorism alert status remained unchanged.

The incident coincided with the release of a revised national “blueprint” for terrorism management, and generated extra talking points for talk shows, ahead of federal elections scheduled for late in 2007.

NO SPECIAL THREAT

The commotion was enough to interrupt the train of thought of many Queenslanders concerned with Wednesday’s Rugby League State of Origin clash with New South Wales.

Police declared a state of “no special threat” for the event, with Queensland, ahead 2-0, looking for a whitewash in the three-game series — though some extra patrols would be mounted.

(Footnote on the football 5.7.07: Queensland with an abnormal injuries count lost four players including both wingers; a tough, able, well-motivated NSW side overcame courageous resistance to win 18-4 – their star goal-kicker and tri-scorer Hazem El Masri putting 10 points on the board).

Picture: BBC

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