Another bungled terrorism case

Today, NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Adams threw out the case against terrorism suspect Izhar ul-Haque. The reason being ASIO officers had broken the law attempting to get answers from ul-Haque.

I have no comment on the possible guilt or innocence of Izhar ul-Haque. The problem is the continued evidence of bungling by Australia’s security forces in regards to processing terrorism suspects.

A key component in the war against terrorism is that the rule of the law must be upheld. To relax civil liberties in light of a perceived terrorism threat does nothing to protect the nation. In fact, doing so can undermine counter-terrorism activities. However on PM this afternoon (transcript unavailable at this time) Dr Carl Ungerer argued that intelligence agencies should have greater flexibility in how they handle terror suspects.

Another curious comment in regards to this and the Haneef case is that uncovering such abuses of law proves the system works. Independent judicial still exists and is unbowed by political pressure. This is true but misleading. Such a statement is designed to direct the discussion away from the fact that those entrusted with the nation’s security stuffed it up in the first place.

Australia doesn’t need stronger anti-terrorism legislation to prevent such problems happening again. It needs security agencies that are not subject to political pressure and are allowed to do their job with the already adequate legislative framework.

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Posted in Security, Terrorism
7 comments on “Another bungled terrorism case
  1. Enemy Combatant says:

    Habib, Haneef,ul Haque. Are we living in Stasiland or is this kindergarten of The Spooks? The former diplomat that Howard appointed as Spymaster has got some serious questions to answer. A Senate Inquiry should be a Rudd govt priority. These bastards are getting beyond the pail in more than their interrogation techniques.
    Does Dick Cheney run our “Company” too?

  2. Paul Burns says:

    Both ASIO and the federal Police initially pushed for tougher anti-terror laws after, I think, the London bombings. The spooks have been at the heart of increased terror laws. I do object to the extremely wide-sweeping nature of those laws. On the surface, it would appear they are being and have been used too hastily, and certainly been used thoughtlessly.Surely the destruction of public confidence in these laws caused by police and ASIO bungles works against any genuine efforts to protect us from what seems to be most unlikely terror attacks in Australia.
    Please note I am not talking about terrorist attacks outside of Australia.

  3. John Ryan says:

    Wonder if they were ex members of the WA police,they have a habit of messing things up as well

  4. Tony D says:

    One problem with Aust’s counter-terrorism policies is that they are reactive. There is even a trend of sorts.

    So… there’s an attack; we then create or amend legislation to prevent people doing such a thing again (hopefully). Which fails to address why people would want to commit such an act in the first place. Such an individual or group, still motivated, simply seeks other methods to achieve their goal.

    So there’s another attack. Which we respond to with more policy and legislation… designed to prevent such an attack again. Which can be worked around too…

    Attack somewhere; policy created/adjusted; attack; policy; attack; policy; ad infinitum…

    “Where there’s a will…” as is said.

    … needs security agencies that are not subject to political pressure and are allowed to do their job with the already adequate legislative framework.

    Or even recognition that such things as multiculturalism can act as counter-terrorism policies by encouraging integration and communication of perspectives and issues. Reducing alienation is one of the keys to “defeating terrorism” and the breaking down of stereotypes is integral to this.

    Oh, and according to some bloke in I met at the pub the AFP and ASIO have got a pretty shite reputation at counter-terrorism. The Vic Police on the other hand are seen as one of the best and the Brit’s have even been out to see how it’s done – with a view to reform the MET after recent debacles.

  5. blogreader says:

    “Justice Adams said……that their conduct was “grossly improper”.
    ……federal police were being encouraged to charge as many suspects as possible with terrorism offences”
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/editorial/terror-must-be-fought-within-the-law/2007/11/13/1194766674415.html

    I wonder what “being encouraged to charge as many suspects as possible” translates to on the ground.
    Do you
    send a memo?
    allocate extra resources?
    make plans?
    pose as something you are not in order to secure a conviction?

  6. blogreader says:

    More progress in the war on terror.

    “PAKISTANI police said early today that cricket legend Imran Khan will be be charged under anti-terrorism legislation following his arrest last night.”

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22762118-601,00.html

  7. blogreader says:

    “….Ul Haque had even run away, after a short time within the introductory course,…”

    http://www.livenews.com.au/Articles/2007/11/14/Our_antiterror_response_has_been_a_joke

    I wonder what made him do that?

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