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Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Terrorism in Australia

Recent events in Australia might suggest that the Australian government introduced its anti terror laws just in time. However when considering terrorism here it is necessary to look at the history of terrorism in Australia.

There has been only one terrorist attack on Australian soil. At 12.42 am on Monday 13 February 1978, a bomb exploded in the back of a garbage truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. Two garbagemen and a policeman who was on guard duty outside the hotel were killed. At the time the hotel was the venue for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The bomb had apparently been planted in a bin at the hotel some time before.

A long time after the event, Tim Anderson, a member of the Ananda Marga organisation was charged with the bombing and sentenced. Some time later he was pardoned. There is little, if any, evidence, should anyone choose to investigate the history of the bombing, to support the case against either Anderson or Ananda Marga. Many believe Anderson was charged to take pressure off those actually responsible for the bombing. So who was really responsible?

In my opinion the only organisations who had anything to gain by placing the bomb were those whose job it was to protect us from terrorists, ie ASIO and the state police Special Branch. They were under attack at the time and their worth was being challenged. When the bomb went off the public opinion swung to one where people were prepared to consider that perhaps we did need our spies.

I do not intend to go into the details of the case here as so much has already been written about it. If you are not familiar with the story, follow the links below.

However, consider our situation at the present time. Our Prime Minister wants to give ASIO and the army more powers to protect us from terrorists. There is some resistance to this as many believe the new laws infringe on our civil liberties. And suddenly, ASIO report on the possibility of a forthcoming terrorist attack in Australia. Perhaps the report is true and if so, I for one, would certainly want the terrorists to be stopped. But has ASIO lifted their game at all since 1978? And can we trust John Howard, the man who made so much political mileage from the lie known as the children overboard affair?

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