Lakemba, Australia: A great place for transnational terrorists

Australia is a great place if you are a transnational terrorist. Terrorist Willie Brigitte was well briefed. He had been told by his shadowy controllers in Pakistan to travel to Australia, as LET/Al Qaeda strategists had correctly assessed, Australia as a soft target.

On arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, Brigitte naturally headed for Lakemba New South Wales. His brothers were waiting for him. They too had been well briefed. The plan was in place. A bride, marriage, accommodation, an Iman, and spectacular targets.

Lakemba –a terrorist’s playground. Reportedly Bilal Khazal an Islamic fundamentalist described by CIA as Bin Laden’s ‘man on the ground in Australia’ strolls each day to his coffee shop. He also enjoys cleaning his old Ford parked in the driveway of his modest Lakemba home.

Khazal has been raided several times by ASIO and Australian Federal police, and his passport was cancelled January 2002.

He and his brother are subject to arrest warrants in Lebanon for allegedly sending funds for a terrorist attack in Beirut in April 2003.

He has been publicly identified in the media by senior Government officials as a ‘person of interest’ and ASIO surveillance target. Whatever that means!

But Jonathan Shanzer, of Washington’s Institute for Near East Policy (ABC Radio interview) 23 December 2003 does not get it. He is puzzled:

‘Canberra should approach the US to include Bilal Khazal on the same designated terrorist list as Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants. …Khazal seems to have many, many links to terrorist organizations.’

If you start to put it together…it becomes very, very clear, that this is a man, who at least on the surface appears to have significant ties to Al Qaeda and that should be a major concern to the international community.

Listing Khazal as a specially designated terrorist would be a good start to thoroughly investigating his terrorist links….If they want to launch a more significant investigation into him and into his cohorts; this would essentially allow US law enforcement to do so.’

A designated terrorist? In Australia? What a discriminatory concept! How risky!

Shanzer does not understand the depth, subtlety and commitment of Australian CT policy, in which high value terrorist suspects are free to walk the streets,

Flash to November 2 2003. After outlining the charges and criticism of Khazal, Sydney Morning Herald reporters noted:

‘Despite these serious allegations being made against Mr. Khazal, he has remained a free man, keeping busy with regular house guests and trips to his local prayer hall.

Despite an ongoing presence in the media headlines, he was observed last week nonchalantly hanging over his front wall, chatting with a friend as though he hadn’t a care in the world’.

On February 2004, a Sydney media report noted: ‘A week after a Pakistani-born man was named publicly as a terrorist suspect he is free to walk the streets of Sydney.’

Four month previously his house had been raided.

Pakistani born Abu Hamza recently featured prominently in the French investigation onto the Brigitte terrorist operation in Australia. In February 2004 he was featured in an ABC TV program which filmed him as he walked round Lakemba. In April he reportedly cancelled his phone service and has moved house several times. His passport has been confiscated but he cannot be detained as he has not broken an Australian law.

Even if legislation is eventually passed, there are no guarantees that it will be used…

Sheik El Hilaly, the Mufti of Australia and Australia’s most prominent Islamic leader, recently provided Bilal Khazal (Yes – he was a former student of Sheik Hilaly) a security clearance :  

‘There is nothing to be alarmed about. He [Khazal] is not a terrorist. If he was, why hasn’t he been arrested?’

Good question Sheikh and who better qualified to ask? Australia is a great place if you are a trans-national terrorist.

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