Continued Concern on Islamic Threat
As expected, more information is emerging about the activity of radicalised Muslims and their relationship with the Hume Islamic Centre. The most worrying development reported today about the Bourke St terrorist, Shire Ali, is that he was on bail when the killing occurred and had a record of getting away with breaking previous bails. This information would have been available to the Victorian government and to senior police. In those circumstances Shire Ali should have been at least closely watched but there have been no reports that he was. More details will be available tomorrow but there is no doubt that this will become a major issue in the imminent Victorian election.
Earlier today, the Fairfax press reported that the Hume centre is where (now known) terrorists have said they have attended and presumably participated in endorsing the message conveyed by the leader (this denied by the head, Sheik Omran). Now the centre is seeking to increase the number of attendees at peak periods to up to 500. Shire Ali, who killed the owner of the coffee shop in Bourke St, apparently attended the centre, although Omran denies this too – “Shire Ali, he never came here — or once in a blue moon.” Omran, who is head of the fundamentalist Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association, also makes the unbelievable claim that no radicalizations have occurred at the centre.
The only body responsible for approving or denying approval to expand seems to be the local Hume Council and the major question for considering expansion seems to be whether there would be enough car parking available in the surrounding area (see Islamic Centre Seeks Expansion). One would have thought that the Federal government should also have a say and should also be informed about any radicalizations. It is possible that Australian Federal Police/ASIO have infiltrated the centre but there should be publicly available information about the centre (and any other similar ones), just as there is for normal clubs et al.
The Australian reported today that “Islamic State-aligned groups have released fresh propaganda based on Friday’s terror attack in Bourke Street, as new data showed a high incidence of violent radicalism among Australians denied their passports by security agencies. Islamic State-linked Sunni Shield Media Foundation this week released posters with images of the Bourke Street attack, including one showing attacker Hassan Khalif Shire Ali attempting to stab a police officer. Another poster contained a photo of the utility that Shire Ali set alight during his fatal jihadi mission. ‘Australia, don’t think you are away from our attacks,’ the text on the poster read”.
OZ also reports that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton yesterday condemned the propaganda (“This demonstration shows their evil minds at work,” he said. “We will continue our efforts to counter propaganda and gather intelligence to defeat the scourge”). Bill Shorten also did so, urging “internet providers and social media companies to remove any objectionable material which encourages terrorism.” The Opposition Leader said “We all have an obligation to ensure it is not disseminated further and doesn’t reach vulnerable young people.”
What this so-called propaganda seems aimed to do is not only to excuse the terrorist but also attract Muslims to radicalise. The phrase “Australia, don’t think you are away from our attacks” used above might be subject to legal action against the person responsible for making the poster. It certainly calls for a response from the body responsible for our national security – the federal government.
The Australian has also published a considerable number of letters expressing concern at what has happened and at the apparent influence of Islam. My letter was also published, albeit in a heavily edited form, and is set out below.
It’s Chilling to See Would-Be Killers Laughing in Court
Letter Published in The Australian, 16 Nov 2018 (Square bracketed bits deleted by Ed)
“PM Morrison should be applauded for his sensible statements on [Australia’s sixth deadly] the Islamic terrorist attack which occurred in Melbourne, as should your editorial in asserting that “Islamist terrorism must be confronted, not denied” (14/11). But with a Muslim community having [, surveys suggest,] a [not in] significant proportion who support the beliefs of Muhammad in the Koran, the question is what action might be taken to limit deadly attacks.
[First, the government should publish a paper providing to Australians the extent of the beliefs of Muhammad, why they are still accepted by some today, the extent of the threat to national security, and what action is being take to minimise the threat. It should include the views of leaders of our Islamic community but should also make clear that the problem is not with ‘extremists’ as such but with interpreters of the religion itself who believe in the killing of infidels including fellow Muslims.]
The government should in cooperation with the states enhance our deficient police and intelligent analysts and take steps to access the encrypted exchanges now hidden from detection. This should include the deportation of those attempting or advocating extremist action and should require mosques and prayer centres to provide special police forces with access to what is said at meetings. [As is happening now in European countries, additional funding should not be held back].
And Australia should seek agreement with other Judaeo-Christian countries to pursue such action on an international basis”.
The developments outlined above, and the widespread increased concern, call for a statement by the Federal Government on what additional protective measures it is considering and that it plans to publish an educative information paper about Islam .