The methodology of theories of conspiracy

Conspiracy theories, or more accurately, theories of conspiracies – that is real conspiracies- are becoming increasingly accepted by commentators. The terrorist attacks on the WTC in New York and the Pentagon has concentrated the liberal mentality, wonderfully.

Attention is drawn to a significant article “Popper Revisited, or what is Wrong With Conspiracy Theories’ by Charles Pigdon, a philosopher, published in Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Vol 25.No1, March 1993, 3-34.

Terrorism is the paradigm conspiracy. History is replete with conspiracies. As recent events demonstrate, we should treat conspiracies as a subject which can be studied with the tools of social sciences. We need more conspiracy theorists, not less, if we are to analyse and counter terrorism and terrorist conspiracies.

 

Mystery mobile calls spark alert

Comment: This important report underscores the serendipitous nature of Australian intelligence collection. Clearly, Australian Intelligence organisations remain in reactive mode.

By CHARLES MIRANDA, Herald Sun 11th October, 2001

Hundreds of telephone calls made in 24 hours from Sydney to addresses in Afghanistan and the Middle East are being analysed with fears they are terrorism-linked.

Australian Federal Police, ASIO and overseas law enforcement agencies are tracing the calls after a Telstra phone bill was sent to the wrong Sydney address.

The bill shows more than 200 calls were made over three days on August 17-18, with a call placed in some instances every minute.

They were all made from two mobiles in the inner western suburbs of Lidcombe and Guildford.
The bill was accidentally sent to the home of a commercial pilot last week.

As well as the bill for $6313.55 and an overdue payment request for $130, the pilot received an overdue Grace Bros credit card bill belonging to the same name listed on the Telstra bills.
The two mobiles were disconnected a fortnight before the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

A number of the local mobiles called have also been cancelled. The federal police and ASIO have raided homes in Sydney’s west in the past fortnight. Mobile phones and records seized during the raids were being compared to those on the bill.

 

 

 

 The spread of al-Qaeda across the globe

 

Bin Laden groups in our suburbs

By CHARLES MIRANDA, Herald Sun 12 October, 2001

About 100 members of four international terrorist groups linked to Osama bin Laden have been identified living in Sydney and Victoria raising funds for the holy war against the United States.

A hunt by the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and other agencies have found the men and women contributing to sham charities linked directly to terrorist work.

A confidential report prepared for Commonwealth security agencies, lists the individuals as having various degrees of affiliation with the Egyptian Al-Jihad al-islami, the Algerian Groupe Islamic Armee and splinter factions of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda group.

All the groups have been named overseas as being behind numerous terrorist attacks and the murder of hundreds of people.

A special investigation by The Daily Telegraph has also found:

Certain extremist members of the Lakemba-based Islamic Youth Movement have been listed as being of national security interest;

More than a dozen men from Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia currently living in Australia and applying for refugee status, have been identified as having connections or membership with the radical Al-gama Islamiya, Al-Maqdesi, Al-Dawa and Al-Nahda groups;

Hundreds of banks accounts are being reviewed for possible siphoning of funds to overseas terrorist fronts;

A number of individuals found to have travelled overseas to visit military training grounds.

A new NSW Police Service unit has been created to co-ordinate the biggest overhaul of the state’s anti-terrorist contingencies since the Olympic Games.

Police Commissioner Peter Ryan told The Daily Telegraph yesterday, the headquarters-based unit, titled the Strategic Operations Unit, will oversee the testing of police procedures to respond to a critical incident from an anthrax outbreak to bomb threat.

“I’m being updated daily on our preparedness. This is about being on the same level of security awareness as during the Olympic Games, only now adapted right across NSW not just Olympic Games venues,” Mr Ryan said.

Of up to 100 identified terrorist group sympathisers living in Sydney and Victoria, most are either born in Australia or have full citizenship.

Others have given themselves slight variations of their names and their entry into Australia is not easily detected or their true identities later proven.

Law enforcement authorities said it was surprising how many people had been identified but it had to also be kept in perspective.

“There is a very small minority of people in the Islamic community who are by no means representative of the wider community, that have been identified as having direct affiliations,” one police source said.

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