Intelligence agency involved in latest Australian “terror” scare

from WSWS

Accompanied by lurid media headlines about a “New Year’s Eve terror plot,” police arrested a 20-year-old young man from a Somali family last Monday, claiming he had planned to carry out a “massacre” in Melbourne’s Federation Square during this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Every aspect of this affair is dubious and points to efforts being made to launch another terrorist scare campaign to divert attention away from the political turmoil engulfing the federal government and parliament.

Long before Ali Khalif Shire Ali faced a court, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government joined the police authorities in issuing prejudicial declarations that make it impossible for him to receive a fair trial.

Police alleged that Ali was an “Islamic State” sympathiser and had attempted to obtain an automatic weapon in order to “shoot and kill as many people as he could.” Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said Ali had not accessed a gun at any stage, but had “face to face interactions” about obtaining one.

Patton told a press conference on November 28 that Ali had attempted to obtain instructions from an Al Qaeda web site on how to launch a terrorist attack. Without presenting any evidence, Patton declared that “the potential of the attack was catastrophic” and “horrendous.”

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan wasted no time in politically exploiting the arrest. He said the “fact” that the Christmas—New Year period was a target “reminds us of the depravity of terrorists.”

It then emerged that the police and intelligence agencies had kept Ali under surveillance for two years after the teenager rejected demands by the federal political spy agency, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), to become an informer in the Islamic community…

[read more here]

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