ITWASSOOTED: Australian government declares “urgent” terrorist threat

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Australian government declares “urgent” terrorist threat

By Mike Head
2 November 2005

In a sinister bid to silence the opposition that has erupted to the police-state measures contained in his government’s Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005, Australian Prime Minister John Howard today suddenly called a media conference to declare that an imminent terrorist threat made it necessary to rush “urgent” parts of the Bill through parliament within 24 hours.

Without giving any details or providing any evidence, Howard said the government had received “specific intelligence and police information this week which gives cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat”. Details had already been provided to Kim Beazley, the leader of the Labor Party opposition, and to all the state Labor premiers.

Howard claimed that “immediate passage of this Bill” was essential to “strengthen the capacity of the law enforcement agencies to effectively respond to this threat”. He refused to give further details about the alleged threat or when the government became aware of it, citing operational security reasons.

Instead, he stated vaguely that the government was “acting against the background of the assessment of intelligence agencies that a terrorist attack is feasible and could well occur”. He cited the just-released annual report of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), which dovetailed with the government’s propaganda in favour of the Bill by warning of an underlying “home-grown” terrorist threat, consisting of Australian-born Islamic extremists.
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