Thursday, June 23, 2005

Terror Australis 

This interesting piece of information doesn't seem to have been picked up by the media in Australia.

On Monday, 20 June, Channel 10 News had a story on the rapturous welcome given by the Sydney Islamic community given to Sheik Hilaly upon his return from the Middle East, where he spent the last few weeks trying to secure the release of the Australian hostage Douglas Wood.

In amongst the otherwise standard report, this:
John Hill (journalist, in voiceover): "In Baghdad, they [the Hilaly mission] were under constant threat from American troops."

Qusai Abdulaziz, Iraqi guide: "I am sure they would kill us, so I thank God I am here alive in my country."
Now, this is a pretty serious charge that at the very least deserves clarification. Did Mr Abdulaziz really seriously mean that he feared the American troops would kill him? If so, what was that fear based on? Was it just Mr Abdulaziz, or did the rest of the mission share the perception of a "constant threat" and the fear of being killed by the US troops? What does Sheik Hilaly think about all this?

In other news from the war on terror:
Counter-terrorist officers have raided at least four Melbourne homes after uncovering evidence that Islamic extremists were planning attacks on prominent city landmarks.

The raids followed a 10-month investigation during which ASIO officers and police tracked a number of known extremists as they made a series of road trips between Sydney and Melbourne.

At least one member of the group was observed taking video footage of two Melbourne train stations and the Australian Stock Exchange in Collins Street.

When questioned earlier by agents, the suspect admitted he was filming the buildings but claimed he needed the footage to help him train as a taxi driver.
Because whenever I jump into a cab, I always show the driver the picture of my destination and say: "Could you take me there?"


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